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CD REVIEW: MONDO GENERATOR – Dead Planet

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Mondo Generator   Dead Planet

The only thing I’d ever heard about MONDO GENERATOR before I got this album in the mail is that they were on Ozzfest, and had to drop off. Reading the promo material, I found out that former QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE bass player Nick Oliveri used to have this band as a side project, which is now his main band since leaving Queens Of The Stone Age. I also found out that MONDO GENERATOR had an album out on Southern Lord and Ipecac, both labels I’m familiar with, so I was expecting something of high artistic value. MONDO GENERATOR is now on Suburban Noize, a label I barely know anything about, except that it’s bigger than Southern Lord and Ipecac.

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What I heard from “Dead Planet” was a mixture of stoner rock, blues and general rock, all in a very high polish sound. I like my rock to be raw, gritty, and from the bar. I like it to remind me of the aftertaste of cheap beer and cigarettes. I wanted to be reminded of those beer commercials where they joy of playing rock and roll, is the fact that you’re in a bar, and you’re playing it!

“Dead Planet” of course isn’t gritty or raw, but a collection of high-gloss races to the chorus, where the song titles are repeated several times. The filler material between the choruses, otherwise known as things like “verses” and “breaks” are short, simplistic, repetitive, and shallow chordy riffs. Considering the fact that I constantly keep reading that the radio is dying, singles are going away, and that the idea of rock stardom really only exists for aging rockers, it makes me wonder how relevant this album is.

The thing that saddens me is the fact that Nick Oliveri has a track record for having connections to artistically relevant bands. He’s been in QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, and I certainly think they’re creative band, especially for the level of popularity they’re at. Nick played in KYUSS, the band credited for many as being the beginning of whole stoner rock revival. Labels like Southern Lord and Ipecac I doubt would be looking for a money making band, nor do I think would they have the money to make a radio band worth their while.

It really feels like Nick Oliveri’s talent is being wasted here. I think he’s got a great voice, as he can sing great and very clean, in a moment shift into a raw tone, or go right for the throat with a gut wrenching scream.  The 17 generally very short songs an “Dead Planet” (many under three minutes, sometimes as short as a minute and a half) lack depth on their own, and because the release isn’t whole cohesive album as it is a mere collection of tracks,those songs are all forced to stand on their own, and often collapse with what little weight they carry. As a whole, the creativity is spread pretty thin across the board.

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I can’t hear much fun going on behind “Dead Planet”. Instead what I got was a cold calculated effort at getting on the radio.

4/10

The Official Mondo Generator Website
Mondo Generator at MySpace
Mondo Generator at Suburban Noize

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