Mona: debut album
Mona are a 4-piece from Nashville who are not just in the same vein as Kings of Leon, they share the same needle. It took KOL 4 albums to hone their sound to cater (pander?) to the US market, but Mona have nailed it with their debut release.
The album doesn't so much have peaks and troughs, but sticks to a marketing man's wet dream – big guitars, anthemic choruses and crashing drums. All vital ingredients for the lucrative "alternative" TV and radio markets.
The first single "Listen To Your Love" (which they played on Jools Holland's "Later") didn't bother the charts last year, but with the Island machine in overdrive, this album should make a considerable dent, especially in the US. Next single "Teenager" (which is released a couple of months before the album) should give a good indication as to how the band are going to be perceived – the next big thing or merely the next wannabes. If someone told you it was a U2 track, you'd believe them. It has the same pleading vocal, rumbling bass and chiming guitar.
The production has an expensive sheen, which will make these epic songs sound good on a radio in Lapland or L.A.
A cynic could say that this is music designed to tick all the required boxes – will it appeal to the rock crowd? (check), will the airbrushed photos appeal to the magazine editors? (check), are there 5 potential singles to drip-feed to a salivating public every couple of months? (check).
They describe their music as "romantic rock'n'roll", which would certainly look good on an advertisement, and, being somewhat charitable, could be true.
This band could be huge, so catch them while you can at a small venue when they play the Leadmill in May.