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CD REVIEW: Mondo Art’s Music Factory - Counterfeit Lampshades
By Cyrus Rhodes - 06/25/2015 - 01:13 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Mondo Art’s Music Factory
Album: Counterfeit Lampshades
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://www.reverbnation.com/mondoartsmusicfactory
Genre: Alt Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: The Verve, Radiohead, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, They Might Be Giants, Franz Ferdinand, Maroon 5, Pet Sh
Technical Grade: 6/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Unceremoniously, Snake Oil, IAm,
Weakness: Short sided songs, overly synthetic musical production, more vocal risk-taking, retail non-compatibility.
CD Review: (TORONTO) Mondo Art’s Music Factory is Neel Modi, a songwriter and musician from Toronto, Canada. Neel's passion for music stems from a love of the creative process and crafting unique and thought provoking songs. He works exclusively from his home studio, where he spent many years writing and recording multi-part instrumental pieces before taking the plunge into lyrics and song writing. This latest 13 Track release is entitled "Counterfeit Lampshades."
 
First up Track 1 methodical piano driven intro that leads you into Track 2 “Unceremoniously” serves up an enticing guitar ridden groove meshed against hypnotic lyrical content, strong melody and impressive harmonies meshed against rock steady rhythm and inviting melody from Modi. This intro track sets the tone rather well for a melodic yet ambient-pop-rock CD like this. Track 3 “Under My Shell” keeps it moving in the right direction with talking narrative that continues to build into a passionate yet psychedelic sonic-pop-rock statement complete with impassioned vocal presence and a dynamic musical flow. Track 4 “One Great Mistake” serves up yet another superb rock steady groove with thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As these songs slowly unfolded I could hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic The Verve, Radiohead, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, They Might Be Giants, Franz Ferdinand and even older Maroon 5 to Death Cab for Cutie. On the other side of the sonic spectrum I can even hear traces of Pet Shop Boys. Sometimes Modi reminds me of a modern day Depeche Mode. I would classify this music as melodic Sonic Pop, Alternative Rock, with a slight aftertaste of 80’s Pop and modern day Psychedelic Pop. The songs themselves are addictive, eccentric, quirky, fascinating, and very interesting - all reflections of Modi no doubt. One can't notice intellectual, passionate and powerful subject matter delivered between the spoken word, with a heavy dose of raw truth and bi-polar vocal emotions that are powerful. The musicianship from all members are rock solid across the board. Modi showcase rock solid production instants throughout. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also notice things like thick low end beats and rhythms, melodic keyboards and synthesizers, piano, guitar, solo guitar, Organ, synthetic sound effects and lush harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Modi has amazing finesse, power, control and intensity throughout all vocal performances. Equally as impressive is the how well this artist makes the distinct and strong (singer to listener) vocal connection, especially with his lyrical and vocal swagger. Once again sometimes he reminds me of Michael Stipe (R.E.M) and Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode.) His vocal style works with respect to this style of music with its stereotypical electro-rock ultra clean musical delivery. He’s got an effective timbre. Along the way one will notice effective drumming, keyboards, vocals, bass and programming/sampling, and his harmonies go well with Modi’s timbre. What I like most about the music is its passion filled love-themed intellectualism and consistency. Music is quite dynamic as you never really know what's around the corner. All engineering aspects check out. Music possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. By track 5 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive pieces back to back. From grooving “Snake Oil” (feat Kira Braun)” to striking “Brave Daughters” to hypnotic “IAm” to grooving “Cyberpunk” this CD has something for just about everyone. CD ends with Track 13 “Telepathic Androids” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this. 
 
All songs under 3 minutes sound like incomplete statements to me. I wish there was more solo segments throughout the catalog. I wish Modi took a few more vocal risks here and there showcasing more power, vibrato, falsetto and raw emotion. Vocals in my opinion sound a bit synthetic and overly saturated within the mix in reverb. I wish the vocals stood out more and were “less wet” within the overall mix. Show us ehat those pipes can really do. To go with this perhaps more live instrumentation would give the production more depth and verity. Some of the drums and rhythms sound overly synthetic and somewhat thin and boxy. To get the most out of your overall sound. Distorted guitar sounds very off-kilter and it’s never a good idea to have the Mixer and Master be the same individual. There is no bar code on the flipside of the package  indication a retail non-compatibility.
.
In close “Counterfeit Lampshades” by Mondo Art’s Factory is a highly original, melodic and fascinating musical experience from start to finish. Although it's primarily eletro-alt-rock based and like I said before - you never know what's coming round the corner with this band. The music is fresh and highly entertaining. Its strong suit – its amazing vocal presence and impressive songwriting finesse by one Nilesh (Neel) Modi. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate, and captivating and somewhat unpredictable. All these songs have a ring of truth to them. Each song possesses a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Mondo Art’s Music Factory is a surging Canadian based artist for many reasons armed with a brilliant perspective an amazing voice to inspire your vivid imagination – hence the title.
 
Cyrus Rhodes



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