Light at the End of the Tunnel
altmalta | Malta | 09/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
Someone, somewhere once wrote that people into `post-rock' were normally bearded guys in their thirties wearing spectacles. Although the specks I wear are black shades to protect my eyes from the sun and try to look cool, I got on the defensive. What right did that bastard have to pin me down like that?
Thing is, if you have a burning passion for alternative music you're always looking for something new, you need that fix, some band to make you lose yourself again. I went through a lengthy phase where nothing `new' seemed to inspire me.
I was wasting my hard earned cash on a thousand bands that all had some whinging Thom Yorke soundalike on vocals.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel though. My friend was driving me around town when this mind-blowing music started seeping out of his car sound system. It was Mogwai and Labradford. I wanted those albums there and then. We spent the entire day searching every small indie record shop in Brussels. I can assure you I had `Young Team' and "Mi Media Naranja" before I returned home.
Since then quite a few bands have come along and taken this genre by storm. Explosions in the Sky and Tokyo's Mono are two fine examples . Four-piece Mono have it tough though. Just like all the other up and coming experimental/ instrumental bands, it's unavoidable that they will be compared to the likes of Mogwai, Godspeed You Black! Emperor and all the other post-rock pioneers that have come before them . The influence is there, no qualms about that. The trademark post-rock sound, passive-aggressive, the cinematic minimal violin /guitar parts leading on to some thunderous guitar explosion are present and hey, done with aplomb.
However the Steve Albini produced `Walking Cloud' is more melodic and reflective than their previous effort `One Step More and You Die'. The haunting `Ode' is an almost semi-classical number that proves that Mono are working on expanding their sound. To drive the point home, the following number, the two minute track `The Sky Remains the same as Ever' is a spaced-out orchestrated piece of music, like The Rachels jamming with Geir Jenssen /Biosphere.
`Walking Cloud' like most albums of this genre is a grower and needs its time to settle in. However rest assured that it's brimming with those dark brooding memorable moments that become your soundtrack to those cold, rainy winter nights spent at home.
I am certain this is the Japanese group...
M. Johnson | Windy City | 06/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Only available as an expensive import until August or September. Great band! Saw them a few months ago in Chicago."
Wow, pick this up.
M. Johnson | 07/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the reviewer that asked before, no this is not the "Formica Blues" Mono. This Mono is an instrumental post rock band from Japan, and their second release (first on Rykodisc. If you like bands like Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai, definitly check these guys out. Amazon has it for an extremely expensive price, but I just picked it up at my local record shop for $14. This CD is unreal, very intense and very beautiful. I fully recommend it!"