Mokomokai is a band that I would have loved when I was thirteen. I would have had posters on my wall, T-Shirts, all of their cassettes. I would have followed them into my twenties, with the extra income I would have as an adult, I would have seen them live on all their Greatest Hits tours. Maybe Mokomokai are time travelers. As it turns out, they’re an up and coming band and I got to see them last Sunday at GAIN Presents (U) the Band, Mokomokai, Jeremy & the Pink Band and Waterbodies. A great all around line-up, down at the A.N.A.F. Club 344.
What I noticed about Mokomokai right away, before I even entered the A.N.A.F., is that their singer John Ellis had the old-school Metal style. Tight jeans (not in the hipster kind of way), bullet belts (in the LMG kind of way), loosely tied high-tops (the FUBAR kind of way) and long hair (in the hair I used to have kind of way). John was a good twenty feet ahead of me while I struggled to get up to the venue door with my crutch (yeah, still on one crutch some of the time) and he held the door and waited for me to get in. Mokomokai people, are a courteous people. Then they hit the stage and became so much more than that.
Have you ever been to a show where the audience high-fives each other as soon as a band starts playing? Because that’s what happened! As soon as the power-trio from Peterborough were grooving on the first song of their set, and John let out his first Rob Halford-esque wail, members of the whole audience looked at one another with giant grins and nodded. Mokomokai‘s whole sound is a throw back to the Classic Metal I grew up on, before the lace, lipstick and perms took over. They’ve compensated for the extra guitar players (a lot of NWOBHM bands have three) with speed and power. Simply put, Mokomokai play as loud and as fast as their bodies will allow. Drummer J.P. Contois nails a Led Zeppelin song. Who can say that?! Jeremy Pastic jumps around and makes the most insane faces while laying down a bass groove that kept the smiles on our faces through Mokomokai‘s whole set.
On stage, Mokomokai are aggressive, without being negative. Fun to watch, without being gimmicky. Different than anything new in The Metal you’ve heard in a while, without ignoring the fundamentals in The Metal‘s history. But mostly I’m a fan of Mokomokai because they ROCK SO HARD!
Part of Pouzzafest at Pub St-Ciboire, Montreal, Canada.
Grab their EP, Justice And Chrome, from their Bandcamp page.