Album Review: Mongol Horde – Mongol Horde

By on Tuesday, 27th May 2014 at 12:00 pm

Straight out of Ulan Bator a crazy mother fucker named Genghis
Riding on his tiny horse
Torching the roof of your homesteads…

An understandably frantic start to Mongol Horde’s debut album, which starts at breakneck pace and refuses to relent for 36-ish minutes of head-banging and hardcore punk fun.

Now there once was a time when you’d start a piece about a Frank Turner-related entity by underlining his hardcore credentials from Million Dead. But in the last 5 years, he has through relentless touring and a handful of superb solo albums become a behemoth of folk-punk in his own right, with his merry band of men The Sleeping Souls in tow. It seems his folk career is going to see him far surpass his cult hardcore roots – I mean, did Million Dead ever headline Wembley Arena?

But if folk is what you yearn for, then turn back now, before you go deaf. The closest Matthew Nasir, Turner and Ben Dawson get to folk is the opening 5 seconds of ‘Stillborn Unicorn’, before we’re treated to the rather depressing tale of the stillborn offspring of a rhino and a pony “Mother was a pony / Father was a rhino / Neighbours didn’t like it / She’s a Unicorn”. As you’d probably tell from the title of that track and the subject matter covered, the album refuses to take itself particularly seriously.

Instead what you’re in for is a little over a half-hour of some of the best hardcore punk music you’re likely to hear this year, from three musicians who obviously are extremely passionate about what they are producing. A lot of the coverage will focus on Turner, and rightly so in some regards, as his inimitable whit and flair is in abundance throughout the album and is undoubtedly he delivers some of the stand out moments. However on guitar, Matthew Nasir truly comes into his own here, and it’s to no surprise since at every Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls appearance, he’s looked like he is primed and ready to get his hardcore stance out. The instrumental parts from Ben Dawson on drums (formerly of Million Dead, also) and Nasir on guitar are reminiscent of early Mcklusky and cult hardcore mainstays Future of the Left.


Tthe subject matter covered does border on the ridiculous at times, with a particular eye on ‘Tapeworm Uprising’ – a track about a plucky tapeworm’s journey out of Natalie Portman’s arsehole, which culminates in said tapeworm using Portman as a puppet to take over Hollywood. Sounds weird, right? Probably because it is a bit weird, but still it remains enormously enjoyable listening from start to finish. My personal favourite (probably because of numerous post-midnight run-ins with such cretins) is ‘Casual Threats From The Weekend Hardman’. I mean, how many times have you had a twat wearing a vest push by you with his vodka and diet coke, his nipples slightly showing and his Armani boxers far too fucking high brush by you in a club? To be met by the word “IF YOU SPILL MY DRINK AS YOU WALK ON BY I’M GONNA CUT YOU!” It’s the refreshing social commentary Turner beings to the mix that turns a very good hardcore album, into a superb record.

‘Winky Face: The Mark Of Moron’ is a minute-long aural assault that is expertly summed up at the songs conclusion, as Frank dictates: “Basicall,y if you can’t make your meaning plain with all the richness of the English language / And you have to resort to cartoon faces made with punctuation marks / You’re a dick. Again, another dry slab of social commentary delivered perfectly through the effective, yet still abrasive medium of hardcore music.

This record has obviously been borne from the passions and drive of the three members, as it unreservedly comes from the heart, if that’s the correct cliché to use? ‘Make Way’ is a blistering opener and ‘Hey Judas’ has the same unrelenting pace the album is built upon. It’s a terrific listen, bags of fun and a must buy for any hardcore aficionado – whether you were a fan of Million Dead or not.

It doesn’t take itself too seriously and isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself. So the only thing I can probably say now is, “make way for the Mongol Horde coming back to fuck you up!”


Mongol Horde’s self-titled debut album is out now on Xtra Mile Recordings.

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