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Review In Latent Image Magazine - October 1997

After half a dozen 7-inch records and several lineup changes, Washington D.C.'s Adam West has finally released their first full-length CD, "Mondo Royale" on Fandango Records. Led by singer/founding member Jake Starr, the band, consisting of James Marlowe (guitar), Tom Barrick (drums), and Steve (just Steve, bass), cranks out a unique mix of punk, power-pop, and straight-ahead rock and roll that sets this band far apart from the current crowd of up-and-coming bands. The disc opens with the 1-2-3 punch of the raucous "6 and 6 Is," a grooving "Upside Down," and the full-throttle "Speedbump." From there, the joyride continues through a mix of pedal-to-the-metal rockers like "Wrong-way Ronnie" and "Electrified" and more laid-back, groove-laden cuts like "Rocks Will Fall" and "Woke Up on the Ceiling." They also make a few sharp turns along the way with the '60s-influenced punk stylings of "Haunted" and, in a rather interesting choice, an absolutely killer cover of the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs."

In addition, unlike so many independent releases, "Mondo Royale" benefits from its incredible production. The sound quality is amazing -- this was definitely not recorded on a four track in someone's basement. It's rare to find such high production values in recordings made by a band without the backing of a major label.

Trust me, once you put this disc in your CD player, it will establish a permanent residence there -- it just rocks! It can be found around town, but you may have to spend a bit of time searching for it, but it's worth the effort. You can also get your grubby little paws on a copy by contacting Fandango Records.

By Stephen Gorny, Latent Imagemagazine


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