Saturday 20 February 2016

Mondo Drag - The Occultation Of Light (Album Review)

Release date: February 26th 2016. Label: RidingEasy Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Occultation Of Light – Tracklisting

1.Initiation 05:39
2.Out of Sight 04:00
3.Rising Omen 05:22
4.Incendiary Procession
5.The Eye
6.In Your Head (Parts I & II)
7.Dying Light
8.Ride The Sky (Bonus Track)

Band Members:

John Gamino - Keyboards & Vocals
Nolan Girard - Guitar & Synthesizer
Jake Sheley – Guitar
Ventura Garcia – Drums
Andrew O'Neil - Bass


Out of this world psychedelic jams and heavier progressive interfaces collide on The Occultation Of Light, the latest epic set of music by Mondo Drag, the Oakland based band are well versed in an out there version of psych/prog as they have proved when they released their self titled debut in 2015 but The Occultation Of Light definitely takes things to another level in terms of scope and delivery.

This is music that has the ability to take you places such is the power it has to take over your head and your thoughts if you let it, an let it you will. The whole album is packed full of vivid soundscapes shaped by classic music from the 60s and 70s but with its own vision of the present and the future.

From the initial notes on opening song Initiation, Mondo Drag take you on their journey, this track is a creeping, mellow burner complete with psychedelic organ flourishes built on a series of catchy psych riffs and commanding vocals that get the album off to a flying start and from then on the album just gets better. From the early highlights like the heavy Sabbath-esque psych of Out Of Sight and the crawling, sheer groove of Bad Omen (both of which feature brilliant use of the Hammond organ) to the mammoth The Eye and In Your Head (Parts I&II) to the closing void of Dying Light via Ride The Sky, The Occultation Of Light is a total trip.

The songs on The Occultation Of Light are extremely well crafted and are bigger in sound and stature than those on the bands debut album, it seems that Mondo Drag have amped everything up bigger when it comes to this album. The use of synths and the Hammond organ plays a big part in shaping the sound of the record and songs like the aforementioned Rising Omen and Out Of Sight sound all the better for it.

Defiantly forward thinking music with an eye and ear on the past is probably the best way to describe the music of Mondo Drag and on The Occultation Of The Light, the band have made an album for the ages, such is its scope and vision. The best thing to do is listen to this album and let it transport you on a total trip, it is something you will not regret.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Monica at SpeakEasy PR and Andy Turner at Palmer Turner Overdrive for the promo. The Occultation Of Light will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via RidingEasy Records and Mondo Drag's BandCamp Page from February 26th 2016.