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Mono - Walking Cloud And Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered And The Sun Shined CD (album) cover



Post Rock/Math rock

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5 stars Leaving behind all the ProgArchives warnings I've decided to give it five stars. It simply deserves it.

First of all I don't very like the so called post-rock. The only band that appealed to me was actually Sigur Ros mainly because of the emotions and unusual use of instruments. Post-rock music being rather monotonus needs to transgres some limits in expressing emotions. If not, it simply gets boring.

Now comes the second matserpiece - MONO. And I do not hesitate to call it this way.

MONO uses traditinal "european" instrumetalisation, although you can find some japanese elements in their melodies. With the production they seem to go back to the seventies. The album doesn't sound very modern and spacy as they seem to concentrate on creating a small close room atmosphere.

And the music - well; quite montonous as usually post-rock is. But never before I have heard so emotional music. Emotional in pure sense - not artificialy made emotional by some "heartbreaking" vocal and lyrics.

It is a musical illustration to a history of a ill girl, who following the old japanese tale decides to make thousand paper cranes, so that her wish to be healthy again could be fullfilled. And you can really feel this dramatic fight in the music eg. when it suddenly bursts out in the third track (listen carefully - not to loud, this moment can really make you deaf:))

The best comparison that comes into my mind is that MONO's "Walking Cloud... is like Camel's Stationary Traveller (I mean just this track, not the whole work) streched to a full lenghts album by adding some japanese spice.

Enjoy!!! I'm looking forward to their newest album to appear in my country.

Report this review (#82348)
Posted Saturday, July 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This new genre of progressive rock acts keep producing sprawling double sets to keep us entertained. And it works, though there is often little in the way variety, through the often hour plus length of music on these albums, it is very much needed for the ambient mood created. I for one warmly welcome it and especially the excellent use of vinyl and the packaging with these albums. Walking Cloud And Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered And The Sun Shined is a mouthful of a title, and at first just sounds pretentious. But more than anything I found a melancholy beyond the pretension, and only through repeated listens to this album did the somewhat ambient, fragmented melancholic tone of the title ring through but ever so quiet. But the album title is so very much like the music on this album if taken at first hand. Noise terrorist and former Big Black guitarist/spokesperson, Steve Albini records the band here so it could be assumed that the sound is an overall pure one, though there is a wide multitude of layered instruments (electric and acoustic) and meshed sounds wired throughout the energy of this set of instrumentals soundscapes. Sometimes the band sound like they are going nowhere, but this lack or urgency must be on purpose, Albini's records sound rough at the best of times and Mono sound ragged on occasions. The music is very often frustrating, can even be regarded as static as they get caught on a weave of instrumentation. The pieces build but never fully flow out. The textures are rich and vibrant but often teetering on the brink, if only vaguely. Sometimes it can be hard to explain an album such as this, but for this listener that is a strength of this album. There is still a lot more to come from this Japanese outfit. At the very least, Cloud And Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered And The Sun Shined is a very interesting album. Not a million miles from four stars, but still hanging off three...
Report this review (#98703)
Posted Tuesday, November 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Agree with Anuszka here - MONO are overfilled with emotions and melodies, denying any experimental leanings most of the time. Agin one can find 2 long tracks, 3 shorter ones and 3 interludes here, in typical MONO vein, and that's here, when it comes to love/hate line. Either you like them very much (as I do - 4 stars along with words like "typical" in review!) or not (like it happens with me and MOGWAI - it seems I'll never find anything to be surprised with in their music). Recommended, but beware - I'm a hopeless biased MONO fan-boy! :)
Report this review (#123452)
Posted Saturday, May 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Japan's post-rock powerhouse gets some international guest stars in (including Steve Albini on production duties for extra indie rock cred) and brings out another compelling post-rock piece. It's very much in the same vein as that established by the likes of Mogwai or Godspeed You Black Emperor, but Mono are one of the few bands who pull off that style with such flair that it doesn't particularly matter that they don't sound enormously different from their inspirations. Mono just about manage to retain their own identity through their careful production and tight songwriting, which stands in contrast to the ramshackle improvisations of the other two groups, and on this album Steve Albini's production is perfect for Mono's painstaking and perfectionist take on post-rock.
Report this review (#667079)
Posted Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permalink

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