For Fans Of
New Jersey band The Mongoloids have had a steady rise in popularity since the release of their debut LP ‘Time Trials‘ back in 2008. Playing a brand of straight-edge, straight-to-the-point hardcore, third album ‘Mongo Life‘ sees an aggressive and fairly interesting return for the band – maintaining the heavy, crushing hardcore punk the band have built their career on while stepping mildly into more experimental territory.
Album opener ‘Smoke Signals‘ is a brief, melodic instrumental that launches quite abruptly into the very stylistically different ‘Live This Way‘; a thrashy number with fast, heavy riffs and the odd guitar solo to boot. ‘Did You Figure Out An Anthem?‘ kicks through in much the same manner, but takes an interesting turn in a brief, quite mellow sung bridge section that eschews the distorted guitar and and gravely vocals.
‘Mongo Life‘ continues with the same basic ideas but testing the waters a little as far as pace, rhythm and dynamics are concerned, as well as seemingly maturing. Boring, repetitive breakdowns are replaced with melodic guitar work, which tends to keep things a little more interesting. One could quite easily make a comparison to Blacklisted‘s ‘Heavier than Heaven, Lonelier than God‘ – indeed, Blacklisted frontman George Hirsch makes a vocal appearance around the middle of the record on ‘Parralels‘ and there’s moments throughout the album that stylistically feel quite similar.
Unfortunately, Hirsch‘s guest spot unintentionally highlights the rather humdrum nature of frontman Greg Falchetto‘s vocals on ‘Mongo Life‘ – they end up becoming very tedious throughout the record.
Altogether, ‘Mongo Life’ sees the band move a little out of their comfort zone and generally, it makes for some interesting moments. It’s not quite on the same level as bands such as Fucked Up or Ceremony, but it’s an earnest attempt at breathing a little life into an oft-stale genre, and for the most part it’s an engaging listen. Either way, the songs definitely feel well-suited to a live scenario, which is where you suspect the band feel most confident anyway.
1. Smoke Signals
2. Live This Way
3. Did You Figure Out An Anthem?
4. Time Capsule
5. Room to Grow
7. All I Am
8. Life Long Past
9. Go the Same Way
11. Chamber Door
12. Mongo Life