If things were simple, my review of Cardigan by the band Mardou would consist of two words: "Holy $#^+!" Because those are the first two words I said when I heard this EP.
Within 23 seconds of the track "Margaret," I was rapt, sold, converted and owned. The pop-punk pseudo-surf feel of this song struck a resonating chord deep in my heart. When I started doing local music reviews, this was the album I was hoping to find.
In just four tracks, Mardou has claimed the title as Cincinnati's lo-fi, post-punk, noise-rock band. Dylan McCartney leads the group with beautifully-monotone vocals and a both he and Aaron Watkins display a guitar tone that, if I were a bit more suspicious, I would wonder if one of them didn't possess Thurston Moore's [Sonic Youth] stolen 1960 Fender Jazzmaster.
"Dirty Streets" could have been pulled right out of the album Daydream Nation, considered by many to be the pinnacle of Sonic Youth's recording career.
The all-Eric rhythm section of Eric Dietrich (bass) and Eric Lindsay (drums) bring to mind the powerhouse driving force of Josephine Wiggs and Jim MacPherson [The Breeders].
In fact, I would put their song "Rimbaud" up against most any Breeders track to-date. The sound is straight out of the 1990's and it pains me to speculate that that will be thought of as retro to this group of early 20-somethings.
The parallels I can draw between Mardou and Sonic Youth are so many it would be tiresome to list them all --- but suffice it to say that, when you consider that Mardou's name is a Jack Kerouac reference and Sonic Youth had a close relationship with beat author William S. Burroughs, they have a lot in common that goes beyond the music.
With such a gushing review as this one, it is only fair that I offer the down-side of the Cardigan EP, and that is this -- there are only four songs on it.
There are rumors of a new 7" coming soon from the band - so to that, I must say, Mardou, please make more music soon.