By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Like almost all tags that rock critics put on musical styles, the term "garage rock" has lost its meaning. It seems like anything sloppy, lo-fi, psychedelic or swaggering can be called garage. Mondo Topless could easily fit into this broad category, though this Philly-based foursome prefers the fuzzed-out, crotch-driven version of the style. On its latest LP, Go Fast!, the band hasn't tinkered much with the formula that's been around since 1966; the rhythms are pounding and relentless, and the whole album feels like one continuous skull-thump.
Of course, there are countless reverential garage-rock combos making the rounds these days. What sets Mondo Topless apart from the pack is singer/organist Sam Steinig. His delivery is the aural equivalent of the sneer; it's snide, snotty and, like the boy at the dance with the leather jacket and switchblade comb, completely irresistible. Steinig is a garage revival purist, insisting on lugging around his analog Vox Continental combo organ instead of going digital. Thank God he does; the organ is the soul of the band, and its cheesy, imperfect tone cuts through the mix and leaves a perfect sine wave etched on your forehead.
Your Saturday could use a bit of throwback fun, and the Hi-Pointe is the place for it. Local organ-grinders The Gentleman Callers will be pounding out the Farfisa beat, and the boys of Tomorrow's Caveman will be there pounding their chests in unison.