(For My Parents)
Explosions in the Sky, Red Sparrowes
The sixth album from the Japanese instrumental post rock ensemble, Mono is filled with melancholy dirges and weeping guitars. Mono, while not very well known in the states have developed a small following by the power, emotion and intensity of their orchestral live shows. Similar to other post rock bands, Mono feeds off of minimalism and build-up drama infused with experimental noise.
This album is a bit depressing and tiring as it tends to overplay its melodies and stay at the top climax range a bit too long. They hit the mark on only one out of the five songs on "Nostalgia". This tune has some terrific inspiring melodies and steady build-up. Great high-pitched guitar work and balance along with a poignant climax. Unlike other albums from Mono, this one really has some sparse percussion work. Excessive symbols dominate unfortunately.
The production is surprisingly poor on the album as they live true to their name and less to the bright stereo sound that would suit this band well. Too much high-pitch intensity and not enough deeper bass for contrast really bring this one down a few notches. While we get the mood and dedication to the love of child and parent, we scratch our heads as to why the mood is so dominantly depressing. If you want something a bit more colorful and inspiring give a listen to Pelican or Explosions in the Sky, they offer much more punch, contrast and vibrant sound.
Standout Track: Nostalgia