(House of Restitution Records 2004)Mardo - Mardo

While Mardo may be influenced by 60s and 70s rockers like Led Zeppelin, T. Rex, and Sweet, they seem just as inspired by 90s rock acts, such as Guns N' Roses as vocalist Aron Mardo sneers and wails like Axl Rose. Indeed, Mardo's self-titled debut full-length release is a blend of retro hard rock that the trio twist to create something part glam and part stadium rock and rather unlike what is currently passing for hard rock.

With a distinct air of sleaze, "Anyone But Me" fuels itself from the song's high energy power chords while the rhythm of "Poor Paul" sets the song bouncing. The band, chiefly made up of Mardo and his brother Robbie, get points for their stoner cover of Huey Lewis' "I Want A New Drug" as the song pounds on a slow, hard riff. Cymbals crash on the quick hitting "Cold Creepin'" as the riffs remind of Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl." Hard rock turns dark for the sinister sounds of "Broken Bones," "Told You So" and "Catch A Thief" as Power ballads like "Son" and "Hey Girl!" are anything but quiet as they quickly build to full, loud instrumentation with a sound created to fill stadiums. And, of course, Mardo include a requisite piano ballad titled "I'm The One" that is soft and poppy.

Part of Mardo's appeal is their rough around the edges sound and the impression that although this has all been repeatedly rehearsed, the band is more than willing to ditch the script. Their over the top sound sometimes goes too far over the top in indulgent excess. But in the sex, drugs and rock "˜n' roll world, is that really a criticism?


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