» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
You Are There
Temporary Residence, Ltd.

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

April 10, 2006
Mono has a flair for the dramatic. For half a decade, the Osaka quartet have been writing songs packed with heartache, yearning, suffering and joy - all without the use of lyrics. Instead of voices they rely on their strings to do the talking; ultra-quiet guitars, swelling violins and the occasional piano form the base for Mono's sonic landscape, which is both touching and scary. Of the six songs on You Are There, four start slowly and softly, building up into a fury of overdriven guitars, drums and noise of all kinds. The release's opener, "The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain," crescendos ever so slightly for six minutes before exploding the theme with chaotic (but coherent) drum cracks and feedback.

This push-pull movement is the same for each of the 10+ minute tracks presented here; "Yearning," "Are You There?" and "Moonlight" all share a similar structure. The other two songs - "A Heart Has Asked For The Pleasure" and "The Remains Of The Day" - stand out for their brevity, beginning as softly as each of the others but remaining that way throughout. Strategically positioned at track numbers 2 and 5, these songs serve to mix it up, adding a little variety of spice to You Are There's pace.

Is You Are There cool? Yeah, its beautiful, even. But it is also nothing new in the world of post-rock. Godspeed You! Black Emperor have been doing this soft-loud-soft thing for years, and You Are There isn't much of a departure for Mono themselves. Soon-to-be tour mates Pelican lean toward the same aesthetic in their music, but are much better at shifting structures and keeping things catchy with shorter riffs. Like an undergrad philosophy student, Mono would be much more likeable if they didn't try to sound so deep all the time.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown



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