The Mono LPs: Shuffle/Play

This is a really good album ad we’d have said you should buy it even before we realised it referenced one of our favourite films, Being There. (A 1979 satire, based on a novel by Jerzy Kosinski and starring Peter Sellers as Chance the gardener, a simple man who knows only about gardening and the world as seen on television; his literal and simple sayings are taken as deep wisdom by people, and he ends up being touted as president). Clearly a wise and literate band.

Reviewing their single we called them “Arctic Monkeys with cello” and while the album is less Monkeys and more cello, that comparison still stands: they can sound a bit AM, partly because of the vocals and partly because of the rapid changes in the structures of the songs. Other times they sound more like a band from their native Liverpool.

Opener Think About It is one of the rockier AM songs, an album opener that misleadingly suggests half an hour of heavy rock is to come.

Make Up Your Mind is a slinkier tune, much slower, with plucked strings from their orchestral section but still a Monkeys feel, which very much continues with The Bomb.

Hell Save My Soul sees the band rocking out a bit more, a bit of a melodic take on Queens of The Stone Age, with chugging riffs while Getting Away With It is more Coral, though a tidy and tight pop song.

Then comes Chancy Gardener, as mentioned at the start. “As long as the roots are good / As long as the roots are strong / People will get along” opens the song, wrapping up modern divisions on social media and politics with Chance’s (aka Chancy) fondness for gardening and television, whereupon “all will be well in the garden with me”. It’s too late on to be the start of side two but it marks a change into more relaxed distinctively Liverpool pop.

Their Bandcamp is here

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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