“Ladies and gentleman, I’m sorry to say, that we’re still not a death metal band.” – for those familiar with Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, you may have heard this admission on occasion and while this statement is true, there is an alter ego waiting in the wings, a beast to unleash, Möngöl Hörde.
Strictly speaking, Möngöl Hörde are also not a death metal band but the band formed in 2012, and represents a grittier and more ferocious side of music that Frank Turner first fell in love with and one that’s in his roots, as the former lead singer of post-hardcore band, Million Dead. There’s more than one association to his former band as the drummer for Möngöl Hörde, is none other than Million Dead drummer, Ben Dawson with Sleeping Soul, Matt Nasir waking up and traded the keys for shredding on the guitar to round off the band.
After releasing their self-titled debut album released in 2014 is filled with hardcore punk riffs, spit fire screeches and song subjects that include Natalie Portman’s tapeworm, the band have been dormant for three and a half years so their return, no matter how brief is welcomed with open arms.
The band’s live shows are renowned for an occasion of chaos and as the odd rambling intro of ‘Hey Judas’ rings around the Academy 2 walls, Nasir and Dawson take to the stage with the crowd expecting Turner to bound on stage at any second, as the anticipation reaches a maximum level, a hooded figure emerges on a fan’s shoulders and with one scream and a crowd surf, Frank had arrived.
As Turner finally makes his way to the stage, there’s no respite for the crowd as the band smash through an unrelenting tour de force of a set, the breakneck speed of ‘Winky Face: The Mark of a Moron’, the creepy yet sing a long worthy ‘Stillborn Unicorn’ and the gut punching ‘Your Problem’ have the crowd bouncing and thrashing their bodies at will.
The crowd volume goes up with the band playing a cover of Million Dead track, ‘Pornography for Cowards’ but can it really be a cover song if you were in the original band who created that song? Who knows but it was welcome all the same.
The story of Natalie Portman’s revolution hungry tape worm on ‘Tapeworm Uprising’ gets blasted out before Thin Lizzy’s classic rock track, ‘Jailbreak’ gets a punk glossing over and leads into the vicious and noisy, ‘Weighed and Found Wanting’ that gets the mosh pits back in full flow. New song, ‘Godfrey Newman’ was created after a misinformed fan added the name to the track listing on the band’s debut album on their Wikipedia page, suffice to say, that it caught the band’s attention and now sits a long side of the band’s actual existing back catalogue.
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The ruthless society tackling ‘Staff to Refund Counter’ and ‘Casual Threats From Weekend Hardmen’ are all the crowd needs to get going again, a scene of chaos ensues with the former making fans scream ‘I WANT MY MONEY BACK!’ at the stage, any other gig and this would be considered a bad thing. Shifting in a complete opposite direction the band play a hardcore cover of Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’, no other punk band would get away with this but Möngöl Hörde was created for the band to have fun, and you just know the idea of people moshing away to Madonna is a fun one.
Another new song that was introduced as untitled but is listed as being named, ‘Full Tits’ on the internet was played so it definitely looks like there’s new music on the horizon for this band. The pirate themed ‘Blistering Blue Barnacles’, another nod to Million Dead with cover song (is it a cover?!) ‘Smiling at Strangers on Trains’ before Frank stands atop of the crowd, shirtless, sweaty and with one last song in the bag, he dives into the sea of people for one last time for door kicking down anthem, ‘Make Way’.
Möngöl Hörde serve well as a reminder that although punk can be served as a middle finger to a lot of things that are wrong with the world, it can also just be a hell of a lot of fun. Selling out their biggest headline shows after being away for almost four years and just one album under their belt, it’s clear there are people who are embracing the band for what they are, what they are is a punk riot that will smile then scream in your face, make way for Möngöl Hörde.
Winky Face: The Mark of a Moron
How the Communists Ruined Christmas
Pornography for Cowards
Weighed and Found Wanting
Staff to Refund Counter
Casual Threats From Weekend Hardmen
Like a Prayer
Blistering Blue Barnacles
Smiling at Strangers on Trains