July 23, 2003 - NME: Mondo Generator - A Drug Problem That Never Existed
by Barry Nicolson
When you name the first song on your album "Meth, I hear you calling" it's a safe bet you're not a member of Chris'n'Gwynnie's tantric yoga workshop. In fact, it's a safe bet you're Nick Oliveri.

Before you listen to his side-project Mondo Generator's second album, you need to understand what this means. Nick Oliveri is a man who was thrown out of The Dwarves for being too sick, a man who communicates solely in grunts and shrieks, a man who has done things so illegal there aint even laws against them yet. It's quite a reputation. Let's not forget , however, that as one of Queens of the stone age, Nick Oliveri is also responsible for minting some of the finest heavy rock this side of the 1970s - proof positive that if there's a fine line between madness and genius, you'll find Oliveri right on the vanishing point.

This record may not be as wild-eyed and rabid as its predecessor, 2000's 'Cocaine Rodeo', but it's loaded with more illicit sex, insanity and glam-punk brilliance than you can shake Satan's pitchfork at. From the freewheeling rock'n'roll of "Jr. High Love" to the out of its tree "Do the Headright", it's clear that Mondo Generator have grasped that most important of commodities - tunes.

As with all Queens side-projects, there's an impeccable supporting cast - a wandering circus of freaks, drug casualties and slumming genius. To name a few; Mark Lanegan, Alain Johannes and Josh Freese all make appearances, Lanegan's bar-room drawl in particular adding tremendous pathos to album closer "Four Corners" and its circling mantra of "Lost days/Where the fuck have I been?".

It's the welcome surprises that keep this record fresh and merit repeat visits, though - "Detroit" sounds like a late-'60s psychedelic pop gem, while, for all its cheesy urban outlaw sentiment, there's something endearing about the acoustic lament (no, you're not hallucinating) of "All I Can Do".

Ultimately it's a question of whether or not Mondo Generator can emerge from the not insubstantial shadow of their main protagonist. The answer? WAAARGHHHH!! Or, simply, fuckin' A.

Thanks to uncletommy for typing this one up!

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