CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THAT MONDO GENERATOR, WITH A BIG BOWL OF DOG FOOD!!!

Much like the celebrated Warhol painting, Mondo Generator revisit the classic Campbell's soup can image for the cover of "Dog Food".

Much like the celebrated Warhol painting, Mondo Generator revisit the classic Campbell’s soup can image for the cover of “Dog Food”.

I am seeking help.  I am an addict.  I know I have a problem.  It is NOT affecting my health.  But I just can’t help myself.  I keep going and getting more and more.  I can’t stop.  What is my addiction?  Mondo Generator!  I have done something like three or four reviews of either Mondo Generator or Nick Oliveri.  Hell Comes To Your Heart, Death Acoustic, and now Dog Food.

I may have said words to this affect before, but I can’t help it.  Nick Oliveri is a fascinating musician.  He brought the edge to Queens Of The Stone Age, and I’m sorry Josh (Homme) but Queens has not been as edgy without him.  So he had a dust up with his long time girlfriend, he was arrested for going onstage naked at Rock In Rio, with brilliance comes bullshit.

Homme knows this as he has recruited (read: been ordered by Interscope) to bring Oliveri back into the fold for the hopefully soon-to-be released new Queens Of The Stone Age album.  Along with Songs For The Deaf drummer Dave Grohl, who replaces recently departed drummer Joey Castillo.  Castillo recently got married, so I cannot see the correlation between getting married and giving up a steady gig.

Unless he was forced out, by intrusive Interscope.  I can’t wait for Homme’s contract with Interscope to be over so he can release what he wants on his label, Rekords Rekords.

Getting back to Oliveri, the connection is not only to Grohl on the new Queens album, but also on the Dog Food album.  In fact, the disc starts off with Grohl giving a four-count.

Let’s hear what Nick has to say now!

There was no way I could have posted this before the 'more' tag (of that thing you have to click to read the rest of the story).  Anyway, AHEM!!!  Photo courtesy Bass Guitar Magazine

There was no way I could have posted this before the ‘more’ tag (of that thing you have to click to read the rest of the story). Anyway, AHEM!!! Photo courtesy Bass Guitar Magazine

Some of what Oliveri is dishing out is rehash.  The lead and title track “Dog Food”, is written by Iggy Pop.  Then there are tunes penned by The Ramones, another Oliveri standard but penned by Roky Erickson “Bloody Hammer”, then a song written with Oliveri band-mates Turbonegro and the closing track “Pushed Aside” written by Trash Talk.

So a lot of what Oliveri has to say aren’t even his own words!  But the disc does come with a nifty sticker that says ‘Physical goods still rule’.  They do.  But since these physical goods are mostly written by others, I am going to suspend my usual dissection of Oliveri’s quest to be a hit maker in the mold of Dave Grohl.  Getting back to Grohl and his count-in…

Once Grohl gives us that count in, a very slick riff kicks off with the rhythm section as Oliveri adds barking sounds, most appropriate for the title track “Dog Food”.  Between each verse and chorus, the instruments come to a stop lead by Grohl doing flourishes on drums (we have to specify that as he is still a guitarist with Foo Fighters).  Grohl also punctuates each break and towards the end when they modulate that riff, Grohl lets loose while a sharp guitar lead line pushes through the top of the mix.

Pop’s lyrics are trite, about living humble poor.  Oliveri’s delivery makes it tougher though, and by the way, I won’t be going on about Grohl anymore as this is the only full-band track on the disc.  It is now time for…

The Death Acoustic Show starring Nick Oliveri!

Yup!  The rest of the disc seems like a demo for what would become the over-produced Death Acoustic disc.  See my earlier review on that.

A solo acoustic starts off “Smashed Apart” which comes across as a hardcore love song about a love that was, you guessed it, smashed apart.  Once Oliveri kicks into the verse vocal he mutes the guitar chords.  That brings the vocals further up front.  Vastly different than his last two products I reviewed, Death Acoustic and Hell Comes To Your Heart.  Truthfully, this is what I would have wanted Death Acoustic to be.

It’s also a good thing the vocals are up front, so we don’t miss lines like ‘Don’t love me, I’ll destroy you too’.

Classic!

Whole note chords start off “This Isn’t Love”, but as the verse starts, the chords are played at eighth-note speed.  Just as quickly lyrically Oliveri dons his bad boy persona listing all the things he can’t give his love interest, like true love, honesty, reason to live…

By the time the chorus rolls around, Oliveri is selling the fact that he is just no damn good!  Rejoining the verse after more whole note chords, this verse details Oliveri’s personal connection to hell.  After the second chorus, a staccato electric guitar pieces in along with the chorus vocals as an outro.

Now at this point, the fourth song in, Oliveri doesn’t even try to deny it.  He is making it sound like he is playing a club in Australia by saying into a dry mic ‘Hi Australia, get a dog up yeah (here), I’m Nick Oliveri, and we’re gonna play some Death Acoustic’.

No shame in that game.

After announcing “Green Machine” he starts the riff and belts out about the war in his head.  Oliveri has mastered the melodic scream.  Meanwhile, the riff powers on, like, well, a machine.

He ends on the line ‘gun it down, down down down down’ and holds the chord on the last ‘down’.  But before that chord ends, he announces the next track, that being “Endless Vacation” just as though it were a live performance.  If these tracks are live in the studio, these are impressive takes!

He counts it in and begins his scream singing.  When the verse kicks in, he speeds up the tempo to true punk speed.  He interjects eight ‘Hey’s’ in a row, a riff line, then eight more.  From there it’s seamlessly back to the half speed chorus of ‘endless vacation’.  He ends on a hold chord on the guitar and an equally long held  scream bleah…

Hilarious!

But in keeping with the live feel, he segues right into “Bloody Hammer”.  A song he’s played often.  I’ve heard full blown arrangements, acoustic arrangements, all kinds, so I am used to this song.

One form I have not heard is a live solo version.

But from a live recording performance perspective, Oliveri has played this so many times, he can ham up the guitar part, and ham up the vocal.  Which he does here but to emotion-laden effect.

Upon the introduction of the ‘baby ghost’ plot line in the lyric, Oliveri is not in control of his madness, but we benefit from this.

In between some of the tracks, Oliveri can be heard as though he were on stage.  Before the next track, “Dungaree High”, he is heard to say ‘All right, what’s next?’.  He is in the booth recording, they are letting the unit counter roll and he’s playing for the world.  This is truly fascinating.

He wails on the riff chords though a verse and bridge, but then he comes to a dead stop in the last line before the chorus.  The chorus is a return to a topic that Oliveri frequently uses as a tool in his story telling, that being High School.  Then at the second verse, the riff is reduced to single hit chords to accent lines like ‘I got a headache in my pants’.

I have never heard a funnier line delivered with such a hateful tone…  He’s a master!!!

A nice jumping, pull-off the neck solo with a steady strum highlights the song towards the ending.  A repeating bridge to the final line of the song, intense!

For the last track, Oliveri abruptly announces “Pushed Aside” then starts the track with a speedy chord progression.  Once the verse kicks in, I would listen up because the tempo slows slightly to make the song last a little while.  That’s all it lasts for, a little while.  It comes to a grinding halt around the line ‘I have nothing to fucking show…’.  Then a couple measures later the music stops and Oliveri pushes the VU meters to one last peak with the word ‘Yeah’ and then that’s all.  IT’S OVER!

The last song is indicative of this whole disc.  It is too short.  While it has eight tracks, it does not quality as an EP although the total disc time is a little over twenty minutes.  The disc and song length make it difficult to write a review, as the songs are mostly Oliveri and an acoustic guitar.  For the minor investment I say get yourself a copy of the physical goods that are Dog Food.  Hey, it’s Nick Oliveri, at the very least, if you can’t get out to see him live, this is a good throw-it-in-the-player-and-pretend kind of disc.

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