Sunday, January 07, 2007

Last Year's Laudables


Japan is, I dimly perceive through the various media, a very odd country. We've all seen the adverts, the gameshows, the manga and animé, some of us have seen the hentai etc etc ... strangeness abounds. Anyway, what I hadn't expected from the bizarre cauldron that is Japan was that it might produce one of the great post rock groups of 2006. Which is exactly why that pesky nation confounded me by doing just that. I have my eye on you Japan.

Anyway, all that aside, Mono are a band who have mastered the quiet/loud/quiet/ear shattering mix to perfection, and their 2006 release, "You Are There", showcases all their qualities - the shredding guitar at the climax of The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain, the subtle, elegiac tones of The Remains of the Day, the soaring peaks and deep troughs of Moonlight... The exquisite manipulation of mood and atmospherics mark Mono out as masters at their craft (though it might be fairly accused not of originality, see Mogwai, GYBE and Explosions in the Sky to name but a few who have plowed very similar furrows). As such, take the epic The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain and make up your own mind. It's 13 and a bit minutes, mind you. Maybe one to bang on while you're busy making dinner and yet simultaneously want a large electrical current passed through your soul ...

No comments: