High energy and drum heavy, Give Me Fire! is the fifth album by Mando Diao, one of Europe's top garage rock bands of the new millennium, and includes the band's biggest hit single to date, "Dance with Somebody." When Mando Diao debuted in 2002 with Bring 'Em In, they were one of innumerable bands new on the garage rock revival scene led by the White Stripes, the Hives, and the Libertines. Critics were kind to the band, but the Swedish quintet unfortunately got lost in the shuffle at first and didn't break big in either the United States or the United Kingdom despite singing in English rather than Swedish. Nevertheless, starting with second album, Hurricane Bar (2004), Mando Diao garnered a sizable fan base in Europe, especially in the German-language world. While the follow-up albums Ode to Ochrasy (2006) and Never Seen the Light of Day (2007) were both big hits, reaching the Top Five and Top Ten, respectively, in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Mando Diao never scored a smash hit single. The lead single of Give Me Fire!, "Dance with Somebody," is the band's first bona fide smash hit. Harking back to the British post-punk era, the song is light on guitar, dominated instead by a propulsive bassline and drum beat. It's almost entirely rhythm-driven and, clocking in over five minutes, cries out for dance-party play. It's a genuine dance song in garage rock fashion. Admittedly, no other songs on Give Me Fire! are as infectious as "Dance with Somebody," but there's plenty of first-rate material here -- "Blue Lining White Trenchcoat," "Gloria," and "Mean Streets" above all -- and it's all similarly rhythmic. Drums are indeed the driving force behind Give Me Fire!, an album that no doubt bears the stamp of its hip-hop producers, Salla Salazar of the Latin Kings, a pioneering Stockholm rap group, and his brother Masse Salazar. The Salazar brothers' rhythm-oriented production work on Give Me Fire! gives an exciting twist to Mando Diao's sound and results in the band's biggest hit single to date.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier