Mondo Deluxe

The Peepshows

Burning Heart Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow


Public response to Right About Now obviously swayed the folks at Burning Heart Records enough to elevate the Peepshows off the company's subsidiary label with the release of the band's first full length effort, Mondo Deluxe.

Building off the Peepshows' punk past, Mondo Deluxe interestingly takes the same path into punk n' roll that Turbonegro's Apocalypse Dudes did just a little over the year before. I bring this up as I obviously made reference to the fact that there were striking similarities between the two bands' works in my other review. This bears significance as the rest of the world would soon be dishing heaping amounts of praise on Turbonegro for being the forerunners of not only the late 90's rock scene from Scandinavia but for being one of the best underground rock bands to ever crawl into the mainstream's eye.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Additionally, Turbonegro's bassist, Happy Tom, was obviously cool with the Peepshows' homage to his band's sound. He wrote a testimonial in the CD jacket that praises the members of the Peepshows for having the "flair to punch the clock in the factory of discontent" alluding to the fact that Mondo Deluxe was a worthy effort in his estimation.

Well, by definition, punk n' roll is a neutered version of punk rock and Mondo Deluxe is, indeed, a neutered version of Right About Now. That's not to say this is a bad thing; the riffing and percussion work are still creative and powerful but the vocals come across in a sleepier fashion. The tinges of anger previously delivered in Adde Wolfbrandt's vocals are now centered around a focus on creating songs that are more melodic. The guitar solos on this album are also more defined than the band's past effort which serve to loosen the noose on the album's accessibility to the listening public.

It's the vocals, my friends, which kick Mondo Deluxe back into the depths of mediocrity. Truthfully, I find myself more interested in what the guitars and percussion deliver than 90% of the vocals. "Thy Will (Not Mine) is an example of a song that becomes a lot more interesting to these ears for the minute that the song dives into its instrumental jam. Similar claims can be found littered throughout the album, occurrences that do more good than harm.

"Goodnight" is the one song that stands out with the inclusion of Wolfbrandt's vocals as it turns the song into a frantic affair. It is also a track that I'm sure was penned to become the band's show closer as the chorus pummels the "Now it's time for us to say goodbye" chant in fist clenching fashion. Good stuff as I normally couldn't imagine getting all stoked for a show only to anticipate the closing track with such interest.

In closing, the Peepshows evolve in many ways with the Mondo Deluxe release. Most significant is the advancement in musicianship. But, I'll say that the overall vibe isn't quite as exciting as it was when I was spinning Right About Now.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Chris Harlow and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Burning Heart Records, and is used for informational purposes only.