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89 Mojo: Press

89 Mojo, "Today!"

You've seen me review these local guys before, whom I believe are probably the best band in Kenosha. Most bands usually have their live act together or their studio work going for them - few have both. 89 Mojo, however, appears to have a bottomless tool box.
As soon as you hear the earnest vocals of the first line, "Mark my words, this will be the last song that I write for her," from "2000 Little Pieces," your ears can't help but pay attention. These guys play catchy Midwestern power pop, somewhat filtered through the alternative pop of the '90s.
"Today" sounds like prime Gin Blossoms and lyrically implores you to live your life to the fullest. By the second chorus, you'll be inspired to do just that. Likewise, the pretty ballads "Nothing More Beautiful" and "Mckayla's Lullaby" gently remind us to stop and give thanks for life's simple pleasures.
This disc couldn't have come at a better time, as it sounds best in the car with the windows rolled down. 89 Mojo has provided you the perfect summer soundtrack, now all you need is a sunny day and a twist cone.
Dan Pavelich - Kenosha News (Jul 1, 2011)
I first caught sight of 89 Mojo last summer at Racine's Harbor Fest. Within minutes of their set beginning, the small crowd in front of the stage swelled from dozens to hundreds. Duly impressed, I watched open-mouthed as the guys ripped through a scorching 80's medley, igniting the crowd.

When "89 Mojo Live" arrived, it was nearly a week before I got my hands on it. Apparently, others at The Kenosha News had experienced something similar to what I did at Harbor Fest last summer.

"Goodnight Miss Loneliness" kicks of the disc with a bit of midwestern power pop and an unforgettable chorus. Propelled by the tasteful twin-guitar attack of Grant June and Chad Plageman, this tune deserves to be a massive radio hit. The following tune, "Another Girl," is equally as wonderful. To put it simply, these guys write great radio singles.

Fronting the band, vocalist Al Schroeder does an amazing job of singing in tune, despite "Live" having been recorded in a sports bar. This is no small feat. The supporting harmonies are also very strong.

The band's secret weapon, however, is the rhythm section of Dom Pedicone and Brian Otwaska. Pedicone's bass holds down the bottom end, yet punches through the mix like another lead guitar. As for Otwaska, this guy is a veritable steam engine, propelling the show yet never getting in the way of the song.

A whopping total of nineteen tracks, combined with 89 Mojo's endless live energy, make this disc a real winner. As a bonus you even get "Wish," a studio recording of their original holiday tune. Drop by their website, order this disc and thank me later.
Dan Pavelich - "Live" cd Review - Kenosha News (Dec 28, 2007)
If you’ve ever been to a bar in Kenosha, you’ve probably seen 89 Mojo. If you are a music fan in Kenosha, you probably love 89 Mojo. If you don’t like well-written, well-played music, turn away now: the results could be dangerous…
These guys have been around quite awhile – as long as I can remember. Back in the day, they used to be called Sahara Jack. There have been some name changes and lineup variations along the way, but they’ve finally come to rest as the inimitable 89 Mojo. Made up of Grant June on guitars, Dom Pedicone on bass, Al Schroeder on vocals, Brian Otwaska on the drums, and Chad Plageman on guitar, 89 Mojo are practically a Kenosha institution. Lots of melody, lots of talent, and lots have energy have kept them going long after others have put their guitars in the closet.
“Come to rest” was the wrong phrase, though. 89 Mojo are anything but at rest. They have played many of the area’s biggest shows: Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Racine’s Harborfest, Kenosha’s Cohorama, the Brat Stop, the annual Thoughts for Food benefit, Summer Celebration in Vernon Hills… the list goes on and on. They’ve also released their fifth album (aptly entitled Five) a little over a year ago, AND recorded an extra Christmas song last fall because they “wanted to keep the website fresh for fans.” And, if that wasn’t enough, they are already looking ahead to their next album!! June says they are thinking about possibly recording it live for release this coming summer.
But why only five songs on their latest release? First of all, says June, on the other albums, they have always tried to fit in as many songs as possible. “The result was that we weren’t always completely happy with the end product,” he said. Not that the other recordings sucked – they stand out as some of the best in the area – it’s just that as artists, they could see room for improvement. “This time, we picked 5 of our best songs, and worked them until we were happy.” The number 5 coincided with the fact that it was their fifth album, and it all just came together.
Their website has just about all the bells and whistles you could think of, too. Upcoming dates, a bio, photos uploaded regularly, downloadable songs dating back over a decade, merchandise, CDs, a message board, an Electronic Press Kit – it’s all there! Check it out at www.89mojo.com. You can even find some unreleased material, like the aforementioned Christmas tune “Wish,” and some other live tunes.
If you happen to be out and about in the near future, make sure you catch a live show. The next one in the area is January 28th at Coin’s Bar here in Kenosha.
Whether it’s their high-energy live show or great recordings, 89 Mojo will definitely put a spring in your step and a song in your heart.
Matt Specht - Action Magazine (Jan 1, 2006)
The CD "Five" is another of those can't wait for summer to roll down the windows and blast the stereo collections. The Mojoans hit paydirt with "Five." The five songs and 17 minutes of rock pop bliss go by so quickly you find yourself leaving the disc in the player for another go around.
Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News (Mar 11, 2005)
What was that old saying…"I know if a song is good the first few bars in"? Well, that theory holds well for 89 Mojo. When the first song kicks in, you just know you are about to embark upon a journey filled with power-pop hooks and harmonies galore! Throw in a little Cheap Trick influence and you are set. The self-analysis lyrics of these songs make you think you are looking into someone's diary, with subjects that the average Joe can relate to - and to me, that's what makes a great pop song. For example, "Glad You're Happy" is the perfect ode to hearing that an 'ex' is getting married! Great club-pop music that makes you wanna see if these guys can pull it off live…
Ronnie - Ear Candy (online magazine) (Mar 24, 2006)
Jonny Paycheck had "Take this job and shove it", Loverboy had "Working for the weekend", and now 89 Mojo has "Shitty Job", a beer-swillin' ode to the working man....bar-band rock that everyone can relate to.

(3-1/2 stars out of 5)
Editor's pick of the day - RollingStone.com (Mar 24, 2006)
...a brand of pop rock that is blazingly powerful, infectiously hooky and wicked good to listen to...

The band's CD demands attention right from the opening track....and 14 songs later, you find yourself lying in a pleasurable pop puddle.
Paddy Fineran - Racine Journal Times (Mar 24, 2006)
"Modern Shimmer" -
a nice synthesis of elvis costello, rick springfield and new wave punch. lyrics are great and fit nicely into the song. loved the mix and the synth parts were especially well placed. this is a great song with a monster hook -- the chorus very catchy. this is the kinda stuff they should play on top 40 radio
"radio compatible" -
holy !!! the volume is at least 3db louder than any other songs i've reviewed. ouch. very, very. very poppy. the lyrics and vocal inflection make me think of barenaked ladies. the bass tone in the brake is perfect. the recording sounds expensive and professional. this is a good thing and if you don't get at least a little college radio play then god has left the building. chicks will dig it and then guys will come to dig the chicks. nothing wrong with that. good, solid job.