Ode to Ochrasy: If you find yourself struggling with the title blazed across the cover of Mando Diao's latest record, don't worry. The band coined the term all on their own. "Ochrasy is no tangible place. It's the bleak, bleary swirls of hours between gig end and sunrise…the haze of fuzzy bars in fuzzier cities. It's where the criminals, freaks, and fuck-ups hang out and, prowling in their midst, there's Mando Diao hunting for fresh songwriting meat." Some might consider the Swedish band a bit bold for engaging in such a sonic, anthropological study of those who make the nighttime such a dangerous, down, and dirty adventure at times. But when anyone spends a few years of their life working until 1am, it can't really be considered a study…it is life.
Filmed at New York City's Bowery Ballroom, this performance shows what years spent living in "Ochrasy" have done for Mando Diao. Marrying a tightly knit sound with sinister slanted lyrics, epic song writing, and a celebratory stage presence, Mando Diao are a boisterous bunch of Swedes worth believing in. They may be a robust looking pack. But behind their irresistible style lies an artistic substance all their own that has gone critically overlooked throughout the years. - David Pitz
Mixing garage rock sneer and Brit-pop sass -- along with a truckload of other influences -- Borlange, Sweden's Mando Diao began when its members were all still in their teens. The band's germination dates back to 1995, when singer/songwriter/keyboardist Daniel Häglund and singer/songwriter/guitarist Björn Dixgärd were in a band called Butler. Even after that group broke up, the pair continued playing and writing together, eventually bringing bassist Fredrik Nilsson, guitarist Gustaf Noren, and drummer Anton Grahnstrom into their fold; Nilsson and Grahnstrom were replaced by Carl Johan Fogelklou and Samuel Giers. By 1999, they were known as Mando Diao. The group continued to hone their sound, blending pop, mod, soul, R&B, and Brit-pop elements into a style that was quirky yet timeless. In 2002 they released their first E.P., Motown Blood, through the Majesty and Capitol imprints; the acclaim for the E.P., and the similarities in their sound to the Strokes and the Hives, raised Mando Diao's profile considerably, and the band went on tours of Sweden with the Hellacopters and Kent. Later that year the band released the singles "Mr. Moon" and "The Band", both of which stoked anticipation for their full-length debut album, Bring 'Em In. In 2005, the band returned with Hurricane Bar; a follow-up record that landed in a musically similar place. Courting Ode to Ochrasy, the band’s latest release is a documentation of 18 months on the road in support of Hurricane Bar.