If you're a die-hard follower of singer-songwriter Frank Turner, then the name 'Mongol Horde' will sound familiar. They're his new hardcore band, and their recent self-titled debut showed them to be fierce, raw and, most importantly, incredibly fun despite Turner's much more soothing main musical projects. The question was, did this excitement translate live?
Kicking off the entertainment came first supporting act Oxygen Thief with their Biffy Clyro vibe to them; chugging guitars blended organically into warm, fuzzy melodies. They're lively, catchy and worth checking out. Palehorse were next and with two bassists and two exceptional death metal vocalists (no guitarists, though), they couldn't not make a racket, especially with the bass being constantly pressed against the amps, creating gloriously deafening feedback.
There was the worry that Mongol Horde wouldn't match this but they had no such issues, caring more about the punch than the loud opening with 'Winky Face: The Mark Of A Moron', which did a good job of scaring off the people who were there just to see Turner being a blistering sub-minute thrasher. The songs from their new self-titled record were absolute bombs live, with the stabby riffs whipping the crowd into a frenzy as Turner was either seen sinking into said lively crowd or carelessly jumping around the stage. The straight up aggressive tracks like 'Make Way' caused ferocious slam dancing, while the more groove injected tracks like 'Weighed and Found Wanting' got people skanking. Even 'Staff To Refund Counter', the record's most uncharacteristically morbid song, makes more sense live as Turner explained it to be a reaction to Jessie J's 'Price Tag' before people went mental over the chomping guitar.
Continue reading: Mongol Horde - Leeds, Cockpit Live Review
Everyone knows Frank Turner. Everyone knows Frank Turner loves writing warm acoustic songs that soundtrack your life through good times and bad. Not everyone knows, though, that Turner is also quite fond of screaming himself hoarse at you, to extremely noisy guitars. Something he used to do in an amazing, socio-political, post-hardcore band called Million Dead, and that he's now doing with this band, Möngöl Hörde with former Million Dead drummer Ben Dawson and Sleeping Souls (Turner's backing band) pianist Matt Nasir on guitar.
First off, 'Make Way'. From the 'ONCE UPON A TIME IN MONGOLIAAAAAAAAAAAA' intro screamed alongside a riff that feels like swarming bees, it's clear that Frank hasn't lost his knack for great heavy music. The lyrics are random and fun; 'Straight out of Ulan Bator, a crazy motherfu**er named Genghis, riding on a tiny horse, torching the roofs of your homestead'; even if sometimes a little dumb: 'make way for the Mongol Horde coming back to fu** you up'. 'Weighed And Found Wanting' keeps up the momentum with a jumpy, funk-metal riff and an energetic 4/4 chorus. 'Tapeworm Uprising' is less bombastic, but just as effective with the springy guitars creating an unsettling vibe. 'Casual Threats From The Weekend Hardmen' sarcastically takes on 'lad' culture, with lines like, 'If you look at my back just one more time then you're a dead man'.
'Staff To Refund Counter' gives us the only weak moment of the album with 'What's the use in living long if we're all condemned to die?' It sounds extremely alien coming from a guy who has spent the better part of a decade writing mostly positive music. Even if you've been living under a rock and don't know of Turner and his success, it still sounds way out of place from the rest of the album that is just having silly, humorous fun.
Continue reading: Mongol Horde - Mongol Horde Album Review