Right, I won’t go into it too much because we’ve done it before, but here at Mojo20, we absolutely adore Mando Diao, and to hear they’ve got new music and an upcoming album is a dream come true. Some of you may not have heard of Mando Diao and a brief run down is that they’re one of the best rock n roll bands to ever come out of Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe, maybe even the world, but we’ve not heard any new music from them since 2014. In fact, the past two albums were extremely difficult to find over here in the UK and in all honesty I never got to hear them, so the last time I truly enjoyed new music by these guys was 2010 when they released ‘Give Me Fire’ which remains one of my favourite albums of all time. Since then they’ve had slight changes in their roster as co-frontman and very prominent member of the band, Gustaf Noren departed in 2015. But they’re back, ready to release ‘Good Times’ in May this year, which will be their eighth studio album and as new single ‘Shake’ is released, we’re diving on it like a wild pack of dogs, to tear it apart and tell you piece by piece what we think.
A return to music in 2017 seems to have some themes that come along with it and it’s not surprising due it’s popularity but a great deal of original material you hear now has a glimmer of 80’s nostalgia on it and a little bit of a disco sound to it. ‘Shake’ follows this trend and doesn’t feature a great deal of poetic integrity in the lyrics, but that’s the point, this is a fun, nightlife track, designed to make you move and have a good time while you’re doing it. We’ve seen Mando Diao do this before with expert proficiency and fantastic results with tracks like ‘Dance With Somebody’, so we know it can be done, and musical range and a diverse style set aren’t strangers to them either. The tracks no indication of what the album may have in store as the content will no doubt be varied and eclectic, whilst segued together perfectly and with a great deal of subtlety. Bjorn Dixgard’s growling and powerful vocals are on full display on ‘Shake’ also, which is always a treat as the man has one of the best male vocal styles I’ve ever heard, he’s a genuine shoe in for top three greatest vocalists of all time in my book. The rest of the band are tight, but brash and it’s just damn good rock n roll. Gustaf’s presence is missed and I felt myself feeling this throughout, but he was a strong character and a very talented musician, plus his slightly lighter vocal style was complimented and helped to further compliment Bjorn’s on all tracks where they weaved between verses. Here’s hoping he comes back one day. But is the new album still as exciting a prospect after hearing ‘Shake’, yes of course it is, but hell, I’m biased. Welcome back Mando Diao.
Note: If you’re reading this I have questions. a) Will there be a UK tour, b) will you please come to Lincoln, c) I love you… that’s not a question but, I love you.
Words by Stuart Green (@Mojo20_music)