7 Feb 2009


Hello…good morning…afternoon…or evening where ever you may be and welcome to the first of what will hopefully be many installments of ON THE DECKS, the little corner of the blog scene, where I, dave w. of White Hills fills you in on what I’ve been listening to. Some might ask, why does your opinion matter…I ask the same question, but when Johnny O. of Rocket Recordings approached me about doing this, I thought why not…I mean isn’t one of the best things about music getting turned on to something new? Well, that is what I hope to achieve with this blog thing. In no way do I consider myself a journalist, but I am a lover of music and I love telling people about what floats my boat musically…so here it goes.

Alright…about two months ago I went to the Knitting Factory in NYC to see some friends play…La Otracina and Plastic Crimewave Sound. There was a third band on the bill that I have never heard of called Mondo Drag. Not knowing anything about Mondo Drag I arrived at the end of their set. Much to my surprise the 10 minutes of their set I saw blew the pea pod that I call my mind. Loud…expansive…swirling delays…and duel guitar battling…to put it simply…AMAZING! I was so taken back by what I saw, I purchased the CD, “Holy Spirit”, that they had for sale that night.

HOLY SPIRIT is a massive album that floats in and out of heavy riff based rockers, ethereal numbers, and mind melting jams full of electric hum and swirling electronics. Mondo Drag is one of those unique bands that has a somewhat retro-feel, but has both of their feet firmly planted in the here and now. In no way is this album a re-hash of era’s gone by. HOLY SPIRIT is a sonic blast of contemporary riff rock at it’s best.

The album kicks off with a trio of songs that, to me, have the feel that they are one. The track, Holy Spirit, commences the trip. It’s a drone summonsing the listener into the void. Autumn Sun kicks in quickly after and raises the bar. It’s a mid tempo, loose rocker that quickly devolves into a swirling psychedelic mess of synthesizer madness and then kicks back in with a motorik stomp. Vocals swirl in a sea of delay…not so much overtaking the song…but just adding another layer of swirling madness. Light As a Feather follows and is another foray into dueling guitar leads and freaked out synths laid over a burnt out blues based riff that in no way sounds cliché.

Other highlights of the record include the epic instrumental, Death Rattles, that features some great dueling guitar. Black River, is an acoustic romp that would fit right in on Led Zeppelin III. My Oh My reminds of Peter’ Green Fleetwood Mac. Once again the guitar work is masterful and has the subtle interplay that Peter Green and Danny Kirwan had together back in the day. To top it all off the track builds into a mess of delay and kicks back in with some heavy riffage…the entire time being held down solidly by the propulsive drumming. Stunning to say the least.

The fact is HOLY SPIRIT should be sought out by all lovers of anything groove based and heavy. Are you into guitar based heavy rock of the early 70’s? Well then buy this fucking album you will not regret it! People need to hear this album and realize that there are bands playing today that have taken this idiom a step further. HOLY SPIRIT is a heady mix that takes the listener on a trip into the stratosphere. It is a fantastic album that the world should hear!

Find out more about MONDO DRAG here…. http://www.myspace.com/holyrocks