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Mongo - Mongo (Mongo)

28 November 2012

So what happens when you have a wife, a kid, a house in the suburbs, a steady job, you’re living the American dream, but still full of the angst that drew you to punk rock when you were young? Mongo, that’s what!

Comprised of lyricist/vocalist Phil Ackerman (ex-Graveyard Slut) and musician Brian Costanza, Mongo bring the aesthetics of punk rock into the den, creating lo-fi songs that speak to the banalities of life that grind us down like the drill at the dentist. The opening “Basket Case” delivers a swaggering rock’n‘roll riff augmented by Phil’s Lux Interior-ish vocals – until the chorus, when the guitar goes all Ramones and Phil erupts like Animal from The Muppets, a primal explosion that sets the stage for the 24 tracks to come. This isn’t White Stripes laziness, and Brian and Phil certainly aren’t one-trick-ponies. “Routines” has an ’80s feel, a little bit of Missing Persons, Devo and even Berlin in the driving beat and insistent guitar. “Chinese Food” is a Johnny Thunders-like ballad to one of the finer pleasures of life, while “Monster” recalls early SST rock and “Heads” brings Hawkwind-esque psychedelia into the mix. It all ends with the oddly Savage Republic-like “US,” a perfect bookend to an emotionally honest volume of music.

Some folks age gracefully and never lose sight of who they are; others aren’t so lucky. Mongo are certainly the former, a definitive statement that youth is eternal with the right mindset. May we all be as enlightened.

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