Like almost all tags that rock critics put on musical styles, the term "garage rock" has lost its meaning. It seems like anything sloppy, lo-fi, psychedelic or swaggering can be called garage. Mondo Topless could easily fit into this broad category, though this Philly-based foursome prefers the fuzzed-out, crotch-driven version of the style. On its latest LP, Go Fast!, the band hasn't tinkered much with the formula that's been around since 1966; the rhythms are pounding and relentless, and the whole album feels like one continuous skull-thump.
Of course, there are countless reverential garage-rock combos making the rounds these days. What sets Mondo Topless apart from the pack is singer/organist Sam Steinig. His delivery is the aural equivalent of the sneer; it's snide, snotty and, like the boy at the dance with the leather jacket and switchblade comb, completely irresistible. Steinig is a garage revival purist, insisting on lugging around his analog Vox Continental combo organ instead of going digital. Thank God he does; the organ is the soul of the band, and its cheesy, imperfect tone cuts through the mix and leaves a perfect sine wave etched on your forehead.
Your Saturday could use a bit of throwback fun, and the Hi-Pointe is the place for it. Local organ-grinders The Gentleman Callers will be pounding out the Farfisa beat, and the boys of Tomorrow's Caveman will be there pounding their chests in unison.