Mando Diao

Hurricane Bar

[5] It must suck to be a Swedish band who, for all intents and purposes, play garage/mod rock: You will inevitably be compared to countrymen the Hives with the first two sentences of any given review. But Mando Diao aren’t the Hives; nor are they the Strokes, the Libertines, Razorlight or whomever else NME is trying to shove down your throats this week-they’re better. They proved it on 2003’s brash, arrogant debut, Bring ’Em In, and they prove it again with this far more mature follow-up. Frontmen Gustaf Norén and Björn Dixgård split the vocal duties on the majority of the tracks, each getting his own time to shine (Norén with the epic “You Can’t Steal My Love,” Dixgård with the subdued “Ringing Bells”), but when the two combine forces, as on “God Knows” and “If I Leave You,” there is absolutely nothing stopping them. Why hasn’t this band taken over the world yet?-Scott Heisel