Montt Mardie

Montt Mardie

Montt Mardie

Drama

Hybris

Didn’t I just get finished dissing a power-pop record from Sweden? You remember … The Lost Patrol. While that album attempted to coast by on the genre’s lack of innovation and punk-lite riffage, Montt Mardie’s Drama adds a little goofball humor to woeful, dejected lyrics. The disc kicks off in the perfect place, the Phoenix-esque, keyboard-heavy glam of “Modesty Blaise.” The vocals might be whispered, but there’s a definite drive behind the beat. David Pagmar, Montt’s braintrust, skirts the edge of Big Star redundancy on a number of tracks, but manages a couple of subsequent gems: “Highschool Drama” has an effortless flow and the rubbery Pinback bounce of “Prom Night (Dancing By Myself)” comes across best. Even at his most obvious, Pagmar pulls out classic pop vocal hooks from some secret songwriting well. The most disturbing/catchy lyrics happen to come on “Highschool Drama,” somewhat of an ode to too young teenage love. Pagmar’s voice is a marvel in itself, sliding easily from Elliott Smith to Prince. Though it should be noted that his prolonged falsetto efforts reveal him as no Smokey Robinson. This is a decent debut album, but certainly not the best Sweden has to offer. However, if your CD collection has a gaping hole under the cross-reference “Scandinavia” and “Alex Chilton,” you’ve got yourself a winner.

Hybris: www.hybrism.com

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