Mokotow | Domino
Family Average: 5/7
We had some heavy mournful tones filling our household last week. The family had their full listen to Mokotow’s ten song swinging extravaganza! Throughout we wen’t through a sort of analogous rainbow of emotions. Mostly sticking to the dark blues and greens. Curious as to what that even means? Me too! Let’s read on below and see what everyone had to say. Also make sure you check out Mokotow’s Bandcamp.
Slow and dark. I picture a dim room with lots of wood, heavy burgundy toned oriental rugs and candles flickering.
The vocals are a bit reminiscent of those of Beirut but darker and unhurried. His voice just drawls and swirls like smoke in the dark.
Towards the end of the album, the word heavy comes to mind, not in the lyrics but in the music itself, heavy, heavy sounds.
All the songs kind of have a weight to them. My head feels like it's weighted down into one spot that I don’t quite feel like moving from. The songs themselves progress to different feelings but the general base mindset they put me into stays the same throughout the album.
Vampire waltzes, not meaning harm, but the potential for harm is part of their life. Just dark.
A ten track debut, Mokotow has created an assemblage of songs punctuated by a sense of loneliness and isolation. With looping guitars and hard-to-describe vocals, he flatly croons over a somewhat disparate mix of sonic sounds. At times the vocals grew a little tiresome, lacking a certain vigor and rigidity -- something to really hold on to. I found myself drawn to the instrumentals, especially the use of strings to open and accent certain songs. However, I was most into tracks that were more hard-driving and bluesy influenced, like“ Come On, Songbird,” and “The Gamble.” His voice felt more suited to these. Fed by a propelling guitar and tempered percussion, it felt angsty in the right way. Nevertheless, it all successfully captured a melancholic sort of ache and sense of disillusionment which was kind of lovely.
This artist sets a mood, and the mood is “Heavy”. While most of the composition is piano driven at times the guitar makes a strong appearance. I have to say that this guitar work is my favorite aspect of the music. This is evident at the beginning of track two “Soft Ceremony” and at the end of track six, “Come on Song Bird” the guitar come in strong but not overbearing. This nicely compliments the powerful vocals which are strong, but they convey a fragile message. For that reason, they are reminiscent of Jim Morrison, complete with the heavy theatrics and poetic influences. This is quality work and well worth a listen I very much enjoyed the entire composition, which also had a 1060’s spy movie quality to it.
Fans of swirling around in sadness rejoice! We are taking a deep dive into the abyss. The album is Domino by Mokotow. Curious about the name of the album I did a quick search. The results that came up were a town in Poland. This had me even more curious, and I took a look at the artists Facebook page which provided a wild history to the bands origins:
“The illegitimate son of musicians fleeing Cold War torn Poland for the United States, an obsessive gambler (not in the monetary sense), firm believer in life's one guarantee (his father died in his teens), founding member and frontman of the bombastic blues outfit Butchers of Sky Valley, Mike Mokotow has staged another introduction into his small world meant for those that understand the necessity of solitude, unabashed vulnerability, and the underlying nobility of soul that comes from opposing the odds.”
Okay anyway back to the actual review.
The whole album gives me that feeling you get when you are drinking. That special feeling where you close your eyes and realize your head is spinning round and round. I think I attribute it more to the low down trailing voice of the singer. It may also be because the texture of the songs is reminiscent of acts like Matt Elliot, and Bonnie Prince Billy. Whatever the reason I still think it is successful in achieving the sound it is going for.
I have to say I was more partial to the more subdued tracks. Soft Ceremony, Universal Masquerade. I feel it is a pretty rare skill for an artist to have. Where they are able to stay so reserved through a song, and yet still convey so much emotion. Mokotow has got a real knack for it. They is also great at choosing what words to say when giving them the most emotional impact in a song.
I would recommend this song to people who enjoy a little sadness every now and then.
This music struck me as quite dramatic or gothic. That being said, I had a hard time placing it in a specific genre. The first track had sounded as though it could have been on the Cabaret soundtrack with it's sad and mysterious undertones. The 2nd track brought with it a different energy and was a welcome change of pace. As I settled in for the rest of the album I felt a definite Jim Morrison influence including poetic lyrics and dream state type music.
I appreciate the musical talent of this artist. There is a lot going on musically here. Unlike with many other artists I feel the production is spot on and there is a lot of attention to detail. While I have great respect for this band for me personally it just didn't offer enough to leave me wanting for more. Given the right audience I believe they will be successful. I give them