Monomate
Grand Battle


3.5
great

Review

by Elijah K. EMERITUS
September 16th, 2010 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A guilty pleasure, fit for the nerd in all of us.

Against my better judgment I checked out Monomate's debut, "Grand Battle." Against my better judgment, I proceeded to listen to said album. And yet again, against my better judgment, I completely indulged myself, more than once. You see, "Grand Battle" is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. A complete "nerdgasm", lacking any real substance, yet somehow being very alluring, and somewhat enjoyable. The cover in itself sent warning signs. A disgustingly colorful palate, accented by the horribly illustrated Nintendo/Sega icons from yesteryear, should have been enough to send me away. However, it did not.

And unfortunately, I'm happy it didn't.

Why? Why, does Monomate spur these conflicting feelings within me? Well it may have to do with, well, everything about his music. His music and his image, and well, everything else about him. Peter Bunker, better known as "Peet," is the sole man behind Monomate. Monomate is actually Peet's third musical persona, and it's nintendocore to the "nth" degree. He indulges heavily in 8-bit soundscapes, and even video game themed lyrics. He is rather young, and his youthful exhuberance shines through "Grand Battle" to a ridiculous degree. It's a high energy release, and it's very clear that Peet really enjoyed creating the album. And overall, "Grand Battle" is a hell of a lot of fun because of the clear excitement behind the music.

Everything about "Grand Battle" centers around video games. The music, the cover art, and especially the lyrics. I stated before that Peet really gets into the 8-bit aspects of video game music. Well, that's a bit of an understatement, as nearly every aspect of the music is drenched in 8-bit. It's an electronica album through and through. Literally, everything, even the drums, are digitized. And while at least one substantial, physical, instrument would have been appreciated, "Grand Battle" gets a lot of it's personality from the overall sound. It's wacky, quirky, and unbelievably ridiculous. He does more with what he has than one would think. Vocally, Peet is a mixed bag. He's either screaming or singing, and neither is particularly wonderful. He's adequate, that much is true, but he is fairly underwhelming when everything else around him is so preposterous. Screaming mixed with 8-bit may seem rather droll, but there's plenty of diversity, and things stay mostly interesting throughout because of it.

Lyrically, it's obvious Peet is a fan of video games, old school games to be more specific. Sonic, Link, Luigi, and more, are all represented here. To be honest, this is where Monomate becomes an even more polarizing force. Fans and gamers alike will get a kick out of the references, but those not in the know will be completely left out. Specifically, "Fail Hill Zone, Act I." The song is about how Sonic the Hedgehog was once a king of video games, an icon, but now is more or less a joke in the gaming community. Terrible games, starring Sonic, are being put out, year after year. Peet even goes as far to scream, "*** you, Sonicteam," as an allusion to the company's ruination of the once beloved character. "The Surfing Song?" Yeah, it's about the relationship between an old man and Lapras. Yes, Lapras the Pokemon. Rainbow Road, you know, that godawful, frustrating track from every Mario Kart game? Yeah that's here too. It's all so laughable, and completely ridiculous, but somehow it is all so undeniably fun.

"Grand Battle" is gimicky. Gimicky and indulgent. For fans of old school video games, Nintendo in particular, this album will be a load of fun. Yet the fun and games has it's price. "Grand Battle" is in no way to be taken seriously. It's an overly goofy album, and lacks any and all types of substance an album should have. Musically, this album is really devoid of any type of substance. But Peet, with his crazy lyrics, unending profanity, and 8-bit soundboard, has completely won me over. Maybe it's my inner nerd. Maybe it's all the wacky sounds messing with my head. Either way, "Grand Battle" is a hell of a good time. And while it may not have much staying power, it's been some of the most fun I've had all year.

3.25/5

Recommended Tracks:
--The Surfing Song
--Big Fish, Small Pond
--Dreamland



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
wachooo (4)
Monomate's debut album is fresh, original, and a great listen....

Whatsgood (4)
Thinking mans popcore....


Comments:Add a Comment 
dylanthedesertpea
September 16th 2010


587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ah, i was thinking about doing a proper review for this but you beat me to it. nice job though. this album is ridiculously fun

pizzamachine
September 16th 2010


12869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad you reviewed this, it needed a good write-up. Fun album is fun.

dylanthedesertpea
September 16th 2010


587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah the other review for this was bad

Yazz_Flute
September 16th 2010


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was going to review this months ago but i've been so lazy lately. Still might give it a shot.

Digging: Thank You Scientist - Stranger Heads Prevail

IRAI
October 19th 2010


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it has some pretty good songs, and it has some passable ones.



pretty much your recommended tracks were my faves, plus Rainbow Road DX, because it doesnt drag along for 8 minutes(like the title track)





okay album is okay.



exitsense
November 20th 2010


403 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This is a nightmare...

Aids
November 20th 2010


24261 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

This album is so bad, why do you guys like it?

Aids
November 20th 2010


24261 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I can't even see that, it just feels like ear rape. And I like 'nintendo music' and all sorts of '-core' so I though I'd like this.

Aids
November 20th 2010


24261 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

to be fair, I only listened once. I don't really feel like revisiting it though.



The Minibosses are way better, they're not core at all though

fsharptrit0ne
June 23rd 2011


4817 Comments


Album cover makes me want to listen.

Yazz_Flute
June 23rd 2011


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This rules more than it should.

Parallels
July 13th 2011


8807 Comments


nintendocore?

No doubt this band is named after the potions in Phantasy Star Online
a simple potion was called Monomate, then Dimate, and Trimate was the heal-all.

Yazz_Flute
July 13th 2011


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This rules.

foxblood
August 27th 2011


6818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not close to iamerror but great album regardless

lxtxcx
March 31st 2012


1 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Classic, final word to the nintendocore genre... in every possible way. First 4 songs are really great together, but i always lose interest when Understudy cames in, so i usually skip the whole thing to the last song. Still the best "underground nintendocore" release ever, nintendocore kids can't deal with it.

Yazz_Flute
June 4th 2012


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still really enjoy this.

dylanjones42
July 16th 2012


182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm surprised I keep finding myself drawn back to this. It's just so fun and catchy.

Yazz_Flute
July 16th 2012


18938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This manages to illicit feelings of nostalgia from me; it's really interesting.



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