Be­neath the Skin ★★ Is­land

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - LAU­REN MUR­PHY

If the 2011 de­but from Of Mon­sters and Men was a brighteyed, bushy-tailed in­tro­duc­tion to the Ice­landic band, then the fol­low-up is its sullen, peren­ni­ally dif­fi­cult teenage sib­ling. You won’t find any sin­ga­longs like their mega-hit

Lit­tle Talks here; when this col­lec­tion isn’t busy be­ing mean and moody, it’s sim­ply dreary. The quin­tet stick rigidly to a blue­print of solemn, tum­bling drums and shim­mer­ing gui­tars that build to blus­tery cho­ruses, their dual vo­cal­ists sound­ing more bored than the lis­tener. The in­tense throb of Thou­sand

Eyes is more ear-catch­ing, but the al­bum never re­ally ex­pands on theme or tone, stay­ing in the slug­gish same gear through­out. Ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is healthy – but if your strength lies in up­beat, ra­dio-friendly num­bers, you should prob­a­bly play to it. of­mon­ster­sand­men.com

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