Stadium rock record destined for small clubs.
Mona have an unfortunate problem. Hailing from Nashville Tennesse, better known as ‘Music City USA’ , and with one of the band members being the son of a minister, the band have been often compared to fellow Americans the Kings of Leon. Other critics have compared their brand of stadium rock songs to U2.
Now while I am not a fan of making such easy comparisons of bands, upon listening to the band’s first full-length album, these comparisons do feel slightly justified. These facts are most apparent on the tracks ‘Shooting the Moon’ and ‘Say You Will’, which sound like U2’s ‘Bullet the Blue Sky’ and ‘Learn to Crawl’ by Kings of Leon respectively.
Despite these startling similarities, the band are still more than capable of writing a great anthemic song. Examples of this are the two singles ‘Listen to Your Love’ and ‘Teenager’, with the latter having a raw edge like the Gaslight Anthem. These moments when the band move away from their heroes are when the record works best.
The videos for both ‘Listen to Your Love’ and ‘Teenager’ can be viewed below.
In summary, while there are several strong tracks on Mona’s debut record, the listener cannot but help feel like they are listening to a band that is struggling to find their identity.
For their second effort, Mona would be best advised to still continue to borrow elements from ‘Joshua Tree’ era U2, but find their own niche, in the same way that the Gaslight Anthem have found their own identity, by re-inventing Springsteen-style rock. Otherwise, the band may quickly become lost in the shuffle.
Score: 5 out of 10