Reviews:: The Mohawk Lodge Crimes

Everyone I know’s had to go through it.”


The heartbreak, anger, and alienation Ryder Havdale unleashes on Crimes can be summed up by the the words he utters so matter of factly on Done Fighting. Unless your life has been as charmed as an 80′s flick super jock, the feeling of getting your heart ripped apart by one of your friends is something we’ve all had to go through, and now, thanks to The Mohawk Lodge, we have an “amps up to 11, distorted riff heavy” outlet to throw on when shit gets bad.


Ryder’s story isn’t that different from many of ours - no matter how personal he gets, it still feels universal - and that’s why his admissions are rich in sincerity, not cliches. Even as he and his friends drown themselves in beer, he never puts her on a pedestal, never chooses to remember the best nights and better mornings. No, Havdale has some weight he needs to get off his chest and his clarity and release comes from power chords, volume and sweat. He’s not afraid to be hurt and look inward, but he refuses to take all the blame and he certainly won’t back down. That’s quite clear on the epic (Eamon McGrath co-written) group sing-along Cold Hearts. Havdale gains confidence over the course of the 6-minutes and with the help of Dan Mangan, Jay Arner, Larissa Tandy and Megan McDonald he defiantly surges forward, repeating “I won’t let your love get the best of me.”


What really helps this record - outside of the huge riffs and sing-along choruses - is how well Ryder staggers the emotions he offers up. Even when his rage gets the best of him (A Crime of Passion), he’s able to recover with reflective, dive bar ready slow ones (Days When You Die) and catchy hooks like the trumpet and hand clap heavy Let Go. As he and label mate Leah Abramson share vocals and JP’s trumpet smooths out the energy, you see Havdale looking forward and that optimism carries over to the inspired Wrong Side Of The Bars. Rejection can’t stop him and neither can cold steel restraints.


Whatever Havdale went through that forced him to write this record changed him. It changed his outlook, his location and brought him closer to the friends he holds dear. It also strengthened his music, helping him deliver the strongest, most emotional and most rewarding Mohawk Lodge record to date. He accepts begrudgingly that someone had to fuck with head, his love and his life, and as a human being I wouldn’t wish what he’s gone through on anyone, but art comes from pain and Ryder now has a powerful, albeit painful, new muse that obviously works well for him.


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MP3:: The Mohawk Lodge - Done Fighting




This entry was posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 2:21 pm and is filed under Canada, Music, Reviews, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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One Response to “Reviews:: The Mohawk Lodge Crimes”

A Crime of Passion « June 24th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

[...] came out in stores on Tuesday. It’s already gotten some good reviews and coverage on, MVRemix, and [...]

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