"Dead Planet" (Suburban Noize; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Uncontrollably rowdy behavior, copious drug use, and an overtly wild rock'n'roll lifestyle may be what got Nick Oliveri ousted from Queens of the Stone Age, but it's the fuel which fires his latest offering from his former side- but now main project, Mondo Generator, just the same.

"Dead Planet" is the title to the tumultuous affair, recorded at friend Dave Grohl's home studio no less. This punkified stoner rock jam album snarls from start to finish with an unbridled anarchistic spirit, punk rock bombast, and rock'n'roll intensity at its most raw, most notably on the screeching "Like a Bomb."

Clocking in with 17 tracks which sonically span Oliveri's storied past musical works, there's a song for every shade of Mondo Generator's schizophrenia featured here, revealing the band's eclectic vengeance with a durable songwriting prowess demonstrated like never before on this impassioned musical statement declaring Oliveri's presence.

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"Cocaine Rodeo" (Southern Lord Recordings; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

After Nick Oliveri left Kyuss back in 1996 he spent some time in the deranged punk band the Dwarves before moving on, "doing his own thing," and further expelling his creativity through Mondo Generator's incendiary sunburst. 

Mondo Generator's "Cocaine Rodeo" was originally recorded way back in 1997, but didn't see the light of day until Summer 2000. Put simply, "Cocaine Rodeo" is a fuzzed-out, trippy, amp-blarin' romp (apparently Oliveri abhors the term 'stoner rock' so we'll avoid usage of that term to protect our self-interest).

"Cocaine Rodeo" is less jam oriented than Kyuss and much more straight-forward. Hindsight is always 20/20, but quite frankly it sounds as though Oliveri's song-oriented stylistic turn in Mondo Generator served as a blueprint for Queens Of The Stone Age's impressive "Rated R." In fact, a chance coincidence when Queens Of The Stone Age and Mondo Generator were playing gigs next to each other got the two life-long friends back in QOTSA. So you can thank "Cocaine Rodeo" by way of Mondo Generator for the standout performance of "Rated R" - but that's a review for another day.

The hardcore infected "I Want You To Die," the swamp-boogie of "Dead Insects," and the bubbly "Miss Mary Gets A Boob Job" are three highlights that find themselves in constant repeat mode as my head replays tracks in virtual stereo. Punk sensibilities rule the day as a devil-may-care attitude dominates the proceedings. Only "Simple Exploding Man" comes close to the drawn out jams of Kyuss - it's a jam alright, but in a way that you'd hear it in concert rather than some conceived jam for a record. Overall, "Cocaine Rodeo" has a very loose and live feel to it as though many of the songs were recorded straight to tape without excessive overdubs and re-recording; obviously, energy and attitude prevailed over technical perfection in recording "Cocaine Rodeo."

If you like your rock HEAVY, HARD, and unpretentious with an amphetamine rush look no further than "Cocaine Rodeo" to liven up your days. 

Mondo Generator: Rex Everything (Nick Oliveri) on bass and most lead vocals, Burnt Mattress on guitars, and Up N. Syder on drums. Also contributing are former Kyuss bandmates Josh Homme on guitars and Brant Bjork on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.