MONO

Enig­matic Tokyo in­stru­men­tal­ists, now with added drum­mer and Steve Al­bini.

Prog - - The Musical Box -

There are few bands in the post-rock world that can com­mand as much at­ten­tion or an­tic­i­pa­tion as Mono. For this, their 10th al­bum in 20 years, they’ve in­no­vated quite rad­i­cally. Recorded with Steve Al­bini, they’ve not only added drum­mer Dahm Ma­juri Cipolla to their core line-up but also started ex­per­i­ment­ing with elec­tron­ics in earnest. Tracks such as After You Comes The Flood are rem­i­nis­cent of two-drum­mer Worlds Apart-era …Trail Of Dead, al­beit in­stru­men­tal. Other cuts are more se­date, how­ever, with the brood­ing Breathe built on gauzy vo­cals and a bed of synth pads, rather than dra­matic dy­namic shifts. The ti­tle track, Sor­row and Meet Us Where The Night Ends are more busi­ness-asusual for the band, with at­mo­spheric gui­tars, half­time drums, and or­ches­tral or­na­men­ta­tion. Mono cer­tainly do it bet­ter than their im­i­ta­tors, but the by-the-num­bers tunes are less ex­cit­ing than their more in­no­va­tive cuts, even if they carry emo­tional weight. The fact that Mono are still able to put out in­tel­li­gent, evoca­tive al­bums after all this time shows their growth as com­posers. Nowhere Now Here is an in­ter­est­ing evo­lu­tion, with a few gen­tle sur­prises along the way. AL

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