Review MANDO DIAO ‚Boblikov’s Magical World‘

Every now and then I mention bands here that are not exactly based in metal. Nevertheless, the term ‘heavy’ applies in a different way to these bands. If you look at Mando Diao from Sweden, it is mainly the non-conformity that has characterized the guys since the beginning.

Founded in 1999 in the town of Borlänge, Sweden, the band embarked on a unique musical journey that continues to this day. The band attracted attention in their home country with ‘Sleepdog’, an untamed alternative rock hit, and the fact that the band was touring with The Hellacopters at the time shows the relevance of the band in terms of hard rock.
Mando Diao became known to the wider public with ‘Dance With Somebody’, a timeless rock song with ingenious hooks. Further hits followed, such as ‘Down in the Past’ and ‘Black Saturday’.

Now ‘Boblikov’s Magical World’ is the newest work of the Swedes and it has all the potential to match the great moments. The longplayer contains ten tracks and shines with an enormous variety of influences and twists. It is not a record that you know and love after one listen through. ‘Boblikov’s Magical World’ must be repeated several times to discover the nuances.

Photo: Daniel Olsén

Even with the first song, ‘Wake Up’, the whole brilliance unfolds after a while. The first time you listen to the tune, it still seems unwieldy and hard to get into. But little by little you can’t get the chorus out of your head anymore.

It becomes easier with ‘Frustration’. Frustration rarely sounded so swinging, although a certain melancholy resonates in the melody line. Due to its catchiness, the song has undoubted hit potential. ‘Boblikov’s Magical World’ has more of those straight rockers. ‘Get it On’ is one of those and I had to think of D.A.D. when I listened to it. ‘Fire in the Hall’ is also one of the catchier moments on the album and blossoms right away.

However, it gets interesting and challenging when the band leaves the catchy trails. On the pumping ‘Stop the Train’ you can hear the snorting steam engine and it’s the rhythm that gets stuck in your brain. ‘More More More’ goes a bit further in this regard. Especially the stomping chorus is something you have to get used to and contrasts with the easy grooving verse and the smashing finale.

With ‘Rabadam Ching’ Mando Diao have another unusual song on the album. Grooving and equipped with exciting lyrics, the song finds its way into the listeners mind rather quicḱly. The hypnotic beat also contributes to it, before the gloomy ‘Loner’ closes the new album.

Mando Diao mange to combine creativity and versatility with an own trademark sound that immediately recognizable. One factor in the success formula of the band is the wide range of sounds that still create a wholistic listening experience. What could end up in a very scattered album is rather the opposite when it comes to the music of the Swedes. All belongs together on this longplayer that finds the right mix of catchy highlights and musical curveballs that want to be explored.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. Wake Up
  2. Frustration
  3. Stop the Train
  4. Get It On
  5. More More More
  6. Primal Call
  7. Fire in the Hall
  8. Animal
  9. Rabadam Ching
  10. Loner

Label: Playground Music

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: April 28th, 2023




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