Mono One Step More and You Die

[Arena Rock; 2003]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: epic post-rock
Others: Explosions In The Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

I saw this instrumental rock quartet play some of these songs at Purchase College's Culture Shock Music Festival and was completely blown away. Some of you might suggest I don't get out much, and you'd be right. I've never seen Mogwai, Bardo Pond, GY!BE do their similarly themed thing on the stage. But I did see Explosions In The Sky. And I was still blown away by Mono. My point is that while, yes, they certainly haven't brought anything fresh to the table; it seems that their ability to absolutely shred wasn't hampered by this fact. The funny part is that I believe they were booked mistakenly, the promoters thinking they were those trip-hoppers who do that Great Expectations song. I was pleasantly surprised by this stringy foursome with the throttling cavalcade of endless, fuzzed out crescendos. I bought the album on the enthusiasm this performance generated and quickly realized that my stereo wasn't loud enough. These songs are so dark and mopey they make Mogwai's latest album title seem utterly without irony. Not only that, but there is no variety like the sort you might be granted on any  given Mogwai album. These guys are Sabbath fans with no pretensions aside from the Mogwai-like vagueness of the song titles. I wouldn't dissuade any fans of this sort of thing from picking it up, but you won't be itching to hear "Com(?)" or "Loco Tracks." This is sort of for aimless moping, when you're inclined. It would almost get 4 for its professionalism if it weren't  for the nagging staleness of the proceedings. They were completely awe inspiring as a live act, though. Maybe it was just that all the other bands (except Ween) sucked so much ass at Culture Shock. All I know is that I can't help but wonder what might've transpired had I gone with that Ex-Models CD instead.  

1. Where Am I
2 Com(?)
3 Sabbath
4 Mopish Morning, Halation Wiper
5 A Speeding Car
6 Loco Tracks
7 Halo
8 Giant Me On the Other Side