Swedes with black leather jackets and fake English accents... Whatever, dude. While a quick glance at Mando Diao might not leave a very glowing first impression, full immersion in Hurricane Bar, its sophomore full-length, will more than convince anyone of the quartet's eruptive punch and songwriting virtuosity. Amid a prickly attack of classic mod riffs, singer/guitarists Björn Dixgård and Gustaf Norén fluctuate between crooning trills and tonsil-scalded howls like a Nordic Lennon/ McCartneyor at least Strummer/Jones. And while comparisons could also easily be made to Hot Hot Heat and forgotten Brit-pop dynamos These Animal Men, Mando Diao's most nakedly displayed influence is the Libertines; the scattershot, lopsided glory and punk effusion that spurts out of Dixgård and Norén is on par with Pete Doherty and Carl Barat's best. It's too bad some group of marketers has clearly sunk its hooks into Mando Diao -- because beneath all the posed promo shots and pouty lips is a band bursting with pure rock-and-roll joy.
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