Mona – Mona (Island Records)
June 2, 2011 by TP James
Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, here we have a new and excitingly enthusiastic young breed by the name of Mona, who first appeared on the radar when nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2011 and sit their sound amongst other worthy adult alternative contempories such as The Temper Trap and Kings of Leon.
Their debut self-titled album has come so far out of leftfield, it’s hard to recall a time where so much international buzz has been created around a guitar band in such a short space of time. Mona’s album is a confident and assured affair, sporting a fist full of potential anthems with sing-a-longs such as opener ‘Cloak & Dagger’, ‘Listen to Your Love’ and the single ‘Teenager’. But it is a complete piece of work delivering on the promises of band leader Nick Brown, who had every intention of turning heads with this release.
However, the band’s main comparisons with Kings of Leon aren’t just limited to genre sharing. Both Tennesee-based, Mona’s sound, style and structure owe more than it’s fair share to the ‘Only By The Night’ era KOL boys than most. In fact, so taken with the obvious similarities, the men from Mona will now see themselves fronting up the bill for the Followhill gang’s triumphant return to Hyde Park later this month.
It’s fair to say that this album does have some tunes. Indeed, if you were one of those who jumped on the bandwagon in 2008 when ‘Sex on Fire’ dropped, then you could do far worse than dabble with this record. Aside from the obvious single fodder, the LP’s strength lies in it’s wholeness with songs like ‘Lean into the Fall’ and ‘Pavement’ showing the depth of maturity and strength that these 11 tracks hold.
Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but they have nit picked and modelled themselves on the best and most popular era from one of the biggest current bands. So don’t be too alarmed if you don’t find anything new here, but also don’t be surprised if you don’t find yourself strangely captivated by it at the same time.