Nick Oliveri / Mondo Generator - Split EP - Tornado Records 2005
10 Songs
Running Time: 34:39

This disc came to me completely by surprise. When I say "came to me" in this case, I mean "I was flipping through the Used Metal section at Record Time, and it was cheap.". Yeah, I'm a huge fan of Mondo Generator and the bands that inadvertenly show up on their doorstep as visiting relatives from time to time, but funds were tight. Ah, well, it's music, and that $6 was burnin' a hole in my pocket, so...

The first 6 songs on this EP are from Nick Oliveri's solo acoustic disc to be released later this year. While his work with Mondo Generator has occasionally featured the acoustic, this is the first full album of predominately mellow tunes to come from Oliveri. Based on Steve von Till's past two solo discs - which take the misanthropy of his main project Neurosis, strip all the gloss and effect, and turn the cold spotlight on a tortured mind - I thought that maybe the same would happen with Nick. Why exactly I had that feeling, I'll never know. In reality, the Oliveri solo material on this split sounds more like demos cooked up over a drunken evening in a basement somewhere. Not that it's a bad thing, mind you. 'All I've Got', with it's disjointed horns, lets you into Oliveri's equally fractured world. The acoustic works here as more a rhythm instrument than anything else, percussive and forceful. The song seems to end abruptly, and not be in it's finished stage. Ah, time will tell. Dave Catchings' skillful lap steel work colours the mellow deathwish of 'I Want You To Die'. The real reason I simply had to pick up this disc can be found in the Oliveri/Mark Lanegan vocal collaboration on the Oliveri/Josh Homme-penned 'Autopilot' from Queens Of The Stone Age's breakthrough R. Lanegan's vocals are higher-pitched than those used to his smoked-out bourbon-drenched solo material will be used to, but those familiar with his sometime work in QOTSA and Mondo Generator will love this. 'Simple Exploding Man' follows, and recalls some of Helios Creed's solo material, Oliveri just strumming in that percussive style again, and seeming to stream-of-conscious whatever lyrics happen to fall out of his mouth at the time. It's not going to be a classic, that's for sure, but who said it was written to be one any damn way? What would a rock album of any sort be without it's token obsession song? In this case, 'One More Time In Hell' is codependency defined, Oliveri clinging to a love he knows is so wrong it's hellish, but refusing to relinquish his hold. 'Paper Thin' ends Demolition Day, which the name of the Oliveri solo material here - again leading me to believe that some or all of this material may not even be released on the full-length, and making this a worthy purchase on that knowledge alone. The Mondo Generator material (here called III) is a repress of an extremely limited-edition EP that the band threw together for sale on tour. Therefore, if you weren't one of the lucky 300, or don't own a working record player to buy the vinyl (fucking same on you!), then this is the only way to get this shit. 'All The Way Down' is standard MG fare, in that if you liked the previous two albums, this is more of the same. The real gem here is the cover of 'Bloody Hammer', originally done by Roky Erickson, one of the Texas Trinity of "eccentricity" (the aforementioned Helios Creed and Gibby Haynes being the other two). All the twisted, mangled beauty of Erickson is channeled through MG, and leads into the trash/psychobilly 'There She Goes Again'. 'Sleep The Lie Away' ends both the Mondo Generator showing and the EP.

If you're a fan of Mondo Generator and Olveri's past work with other bands, by all means, pick this up. If you've never heard either, you'd do better to grab MG's Cocaine Rodeo debut, and go from there. Mainly for the fans, in that it gives us a taste of where the full-lengths of both project are headed. I'd spend the $6 again. Hell, I'm even coughing up the ducats for the 10" vinyl version, which has an extra song by Mondo Generator. Even at $16 spent, it beats the Hell out of art-school pussies like The Strokes. This, children...this is rock and roll.

www.mondogenerator.com


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