Mono Stereo: Space Out E.P

I’ve heard tell that a good music journalist should be ready for anything, but there is such a thing as comfort zones, and knowledge bases, so I have to confess before I start, that Mono Stereo don’t neatly fit into either. Nevertheless, I like a challenge, and thought it was about time to introduce the music.co.uk readers to something with a Nordic flavour!

So here are Mono Stereo, who hail from Malmo in Sweden, and are releasing this E.P on British label 360 degree music. Their PR blurb describes their sound as a mix of indie, shoegaze, and psychedelic rock, but what does all that really mean?

To me, Mono Stereo are very retro, and even I can hear the 60’s influence in their songs, and see it in their image. The music/recording at times reminds me of artists such as Primal Scream, Alice Cooper, maybe even a bit of Ozzy Osbourne. The sweeping guitar riffs and rhythmic drum beats are the main focus of the arrangement, though the percussion is also prominent in the mix of all four tracks. It all creates quite a raw, jangly sound, more akin to a jam session than a studio recording, but maybe that’s the point?!

‘You Better’ is a purely instrumental song, while ‘Orange Is Green’, ‘The Day Before Science Fiction’, and ‘Time Will Never Let You Slip Away’ have a small amount of lyrics. All of this adds a unique ambience to the listening experience, though for me the songs are dragged out a bit too long, and are a bit too heavy to engage me from start to finish. I did find the E.P quite hard to get into, though after a few listens I got used to the style, and ‘Time Will Never Let You Slip Away’ grew on me a little.

Mono Stereo have been an interesting review challenge, and although my personal music tastes aren’t really converted to the cause, my professional instincts tell me that they will go down well with fans of this genre of music in the UK.

‘The Space Out’ E.P is available now, for more information visit www.monostereo.se. Information on their 2010 plans and American release also on the website.

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