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Dude, How Do You Feel? Mordecai's "Should've Known" is a Jolly Good Show

Do y'all remember that episode of Regular Show "Mordecai and the Rigbys?" In it, Mordecai and Rigby start a fake band for an open-mic so Mordecai can impress Margaret after lying about a box of fake band t-shirts they ordered as a joke. They end up accidentally calling their future selves, who are super successful musicians, and ask them to teach them how to shred and get chicks. Their future selves turn out to be lip-synching con artists, and have tricked them into playing unplugged instruments over a previously recorded song. So Mordecai and Rigby (mostly Mordecai) shut it all down and reveal that they were lip-synching the whole time, because honesty is the best policy or something like that. To be honest, I missed the moral of the episode because "Party Tonight" was good enough to totally overshadowed the plot of the episode anyway.

Clearly, I was not the only one "Party Tonight" left an impact on. Wisconsin bred and buttered heavy emo band, Mordecai, are keeping the spirit of Mordecai and the Rigbys alive, and not just because they have easily the greatest band name of all time, not to mention some of the best merch we've seen here at Tonitruale in a while. Risen from the ashes of three separate and strikingly dissimilar bands, Mordecai molded together in April of 2023, and were readily reaccepted into the midwest punk and hardcore ecosystem they'd become an integral part of. The band is made up of Adam West (guitar and vocals) and Keondre Randle (bass), both formerly of Doublespeak (more on them in "Pisces' and Punk Rock Warlords" piece), Ethan Hanson (guitar and vocals) of Dear Parents, and Griffin Johnson (drums) of Sorry Machine.

Mordecai is an emo band at its core, but draws inspiration from each of the members' backgrounds to develop an especially unique new approach to an emo-fusion sound. Johnson brings an exciting edge to the band's sound from his time as the drummer for jazz-style hard rock band Sorry Machine. His fills and play style are precise and energetic, and work to not only make the drums stand out but also elevate the melody to greater heights. West and Randle's time as hardcore musicians is no secret, and is clearly evident in Randle's emotive rhythm, and West's guttural vocal style. West's gruffer inclination compliments Hanson's more traditional emo vocal style as well, crafting a multi layered, fuller sounding vocal section, as heard on their most recent and debut single "Should've Known."

"Should've Known," Mordecai's first official release, and what we can only assume to be the first of many, is a fervent roar for answers and a less than cordial attempt at closure. It's a brutal story about how we don't always get the answers we need, or worse, that we might get exactly what we were looking for. It's primal and cathartic in a strangely poetic way, like screaming that song that makes you tear up every time at the top of your lungs; like driving off with no direction or destination. It's like dangling your legs over the overlook above your hometown; the one you and your friends used to meet at when there was nothing to do but be outside. It's simple melody and song structure allow for the lyrics and sharp chorus' to take center stage, and lets every instrumental section show off a bit. The cherry on top, of course, is the Regular Show snippet used for the song's intro, creating an overall undeniably perfect start to the band Mordecai. It also doesn't hurt that you could totally see this song being played over a sad Mordecai and Margaret edit.

Mordecai is a powerhouse in the making, an underdog with enough bite to chew through an iron bar, with riffs tasty enough to feed a battalion of frat bro unicorns. Their collected talents and creative direction will no doubt lead them to greatness, as long as they steer clear of magical flying babies with powers beyond the universe and rock, paper, scissors. That's an evil game.

Rob Lucchesi



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