MONDO PRIMO - Hawaii Mud Bombers (Wicked Cool)
Don’t ask me why - perhaps Little Steven’s “Wicked Cool” imprint on the wrapper? - but I had these Swedes pegged strictly as surf revivalists, not the power pop juggernaut they are.  No surprise there; the Nord contingent – Apers, Yum Yums, or Backwood Creatures, anyone? – seem to have the touch when it comes to nailing the genre to the floor.

There are a few strolls through surf/instro territory ala Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (the mid-tempo “Torpedo” and “Intermission”) which would do Dick Dale proud, but for the most part, “Mondo Primo” shakes, pops, blurps, clicks, taps, percolates, hums, stutters, and fuzzes like a battle of the bands between glory-years Cheap Trick, The Banana Splits, and The Strawberry Zots in front of an attention-deficit disorder convention at Hershey Park.  With complementary Kool-Aid all around.

It beggars belief that songs about the Suzuki Samurai – one of the biggest pieces of shit ever built in Detroit, Japan, or anywhere else for that matter (you see, they have a tendency to roll) – and the suits over at MTV who deal in calculated torture for profit are causes for celebration, peeling back layer after layer of sparkling, manic pop thrills and chills, revved-up chugging guitars, and hooks that stick like a mouthful of peanut butter.  Other than girls, are there really any other reasons for starting a band?

“Mr. Menage a Trois” and the title track, with its chorus of “shoo watch shoo waddy waddy’s,” are all call-and-response bursts of full-throttle sugar, drive, and flash, but it’s not all just for show.  Despite the fact that the Hawaii Mud Bombers roll like they’re late for a wedding, knocking off tasty treats faster than a Taco Bell drive-thru at high noon, the band have taken some time along the way to ensure the end product sounds as good as it tastes, overseeing the production themselves.

“Mondo Primo” never pretends to be anything but what it is: sunnyside-up pop crammed with boisterous poptastic melodies.  Fire up that browser and get out the credit card. - Clark Paull