21 Jan 2015

Mondo Drag "Mondo Drag"

Authentically vintage seventies prog stylings from a band with Radio Moscow and Blues Pills' rhythm section.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Klisiewicz

Mondo Drag is a heavy psych/progressive rock band from California. Their hard hitting music is deftly played by highly skilled musicians, and much of it is instrumental. Standout track "Plumajilla" takes a leaf from the Deep Purple songbook,with its powerful organ riffs charging at your ears. And then it suddenly switches gears to this evocative and reflective section of the song. This is typical of the twists and turns you can expect on this record; you never know what is around the corner. It builds up again slightly before fading to silence. "Shifting Sands" is not a West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band cover as you might expect. Rather, it's muti-layered neo-psych which flits into Krautrock territory. "Pillars of the Sky" is another favorite, meandering along in the best Pink Floyd tradition. Its passages sound like the band ingested "Wish You Were Here" in its entirety, a good influence to have! "Snakeskin" closes the record and clocks in around 6 minutes, once again displaying the band's talent for slowly building the energy and then really putting the hammer down.

Though I don't listen to prog rock these days, I really enjoyed a thoroughly modern take on the genre from this talented Oakland group.

CD and vinyl available here. Digital and full stream through the Bandcamp link below.

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