Mondo Cozmo: “Plastic Soul” is a Soundtrack of Anthems for Dreamers

If there’s anyone that embodies “third times a charm” it’s Josh Ostrander. After striking out earlier in his career, he has evolved into Mondo Cozmo and created something so soulfully infectious it’s hard to ignore.

It’s been said that Bob Dylan and Eddie Vedder are some of his bigger musical influences, and you can hear it. Structurally you see him pay homage to his inspirations via Dylan flashbacks like this one on the song Shine. The structure is simple, yet inspiring and the vocals are reminiscent of that inspiration.

Let ’em get high
Let ’em get stoned
Everything will be alright if you let it go
Let ’em get high
Let ’em get stoned
Everything will be alright if you let it go

Then you have songs like Come with Me where you clearly hear a Bono/U2-like influence in vocals as well as a wailing guitar undertone matched with this catchy upbeat cadence that a typical U2 chorus is known for. I also think there are solid Oasis/Noel Gallagher vibes musically woven in and out from start to finish. You hear it specifically on the longingly catchy Hold on to Me. 

I have loved you for a thousand lives
What’s one more night for us to give?
I can’t promise you anything
But I can tell you I’ll never leave
Hold on to me, yeah

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Albums like this are important because they create a space for music fans to exist where they can feel like the best is yet to come in life— no matter what that may be. This could be a direct reflection of where Ostrander is in his career. He is a hardworking, simple yet brilliant song writer at his core who has never given up on himself. He’s at a tipping point where it seems like if he takes just one more step in the right direction he will skyrocket proving why — after all this time — he’s a musician that deserves recognition.

This album is a celebration of life. Its vivacity explodes in a way that not only grabs you, but holds on to you long after the music stops. You don’t only hear that, you can feel it. This is seen especially on tracks like Automatic  and  Shine, which are anthems for living infinitely rather than just existing.

This feeling is only magnified if you have the opportunity to see Ostrander and his band live. On stage, they are champions of spirit who perform with vigor whether it is for a room of 30 (like the one I was in) or for thousands in the “This Tent” at Bonnaroo. In five minutes of speaking with Ostrander and his bandmates I could tell that they were not only extremely humble and relatable, but infinitely grateful to every person who they interact with. When they talk to you, they do a great job of giving you time and making you feel like you’re the only fan in the room when you know you’re just one in a crowd. That level of attention, gratitude and professionalism is what stood out to me most about them and is what will stick with other fans as well. I enjoyed them before I saw them live, but after meeting them at the show I walked out a full-on fan. There’s nothing worse than a great band with a shitty attitude. And, these guys? They’re the good guys of alt/indie rock.

Ultimately, Ostrander’s optimism, his spirit and the world he brings to life with Mondo Cozmo reaches directly through the speakers and makes you fly with them throughout a 10-song journey. When it’s all said and done it leaves you feeling like you’ve just had the time of your life and that maybe there’s a little more magic in the world than there was before.

Must-listen tracks:
Automatic
Shine
Hold On To Me
Come With Me
Thunder

Listen to this album if:
You’re missing ’90s alt.

Musical lovechild:
Oasis meets U2 meets The Verve

My rating:
8

If you like this, you’ll also like:
Barnes Courtney
Dawes
The Strumbellas

Listen to the album:

Not a Spotify fan? No problem. Here’s the album playlist on YouTube.

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