Mondo Topless – Freaking Out (2010)

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A choice, not-so-obvious all-covers album from Philadelphia’s Mondo Topless, starting with a pretty rockin’ version of The Twilighters’ “Nothing Can Bring Me Down.” Elsewhere, an eclectic bunch of garage and rock bands are represented, from a very faithfully inspired version of the Attack’s “Magic Potion” to the Electric Prunes’ “Get Me To The World On Time,” from a hair faster version of Cream’s “SWLABR” to a very garagey take on the Gentrys’ cool “I Ain’t Dead Yet.”

The Nigerian 1970s rock band Question Mark (no, not the famous ’60s singer) is given garage/punk organ for the title track “Freaking Out,” and there’s even a Camper Van Beethoven song, “(We’re a) Bad Trip.” Believe it or not, a Banana Splits song pops up too, with “Gonna find a Cave.”

They give a hard-rock workout to the Sonics Rendezvous Band’s “Asteroid B-612,” demonstrating that classic SRB Ann Arbor, Michigan sonic toughness. Some contemporary Northwestern American marage is most welcome on their version of the Mono Men’s energetic and tough “Mystery Girl.”

The Vertebrats’ cliched “Left in the Dark,” and a lightweight “Little Clown” from the group Witch, round out this assorted collection of garage rock chocolates. There’s definitely a Fleshtones/Lyres musical vibe happening throughout with Mondo Topless, and that ain’t a bad thing.

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Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott has written for Shindig, Twist and Shake, Garage & Beat and Ugly Things. A big fan of all things rock and roll - especially the British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelic, new wave, folk rock, surf and power pop - he was a consultant on Sundazed Music's reissue of 'The Best of Butch Engle & The Styx: No Matter What You Say' in 2000, and has also provided liner notes for Italy's Misty Lane Records. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.