Mono
You Are There


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (131 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2016 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's Mono's imaginative visions of nature and effective means of conveying sorrowful melodies that reveals how a band can make even the most derivative styles of post rock meaningful.

Even though their music resides in the more simplistic spectrum of post rock, Mono prove themselves to possess a certain amount of complexity. Priding their music on their imaginative vision, beautiful buildups and bombastic crescendos, the Japanese post rockers often succeed where many bands of their kind fail. Granted, detesters of the more straight forward side of the genre may not adore this one. However, Mono’s alluring atmosphere allows the listener’s mind to run rampant with images of lush landscapes and breathtaking sights of nature. It also helps that the band’s use of strings and tremolo picking are all expertly delivered. It may not be any game changer, but the album reveals itself as an engrossing ride once the final notes fade away.

For the most part, the six pieces of music follow a fairly typical formula that can be compared to Explosions In The Sky. Mono usually goes about their music using quiet openings that slowly grows into a climax. For example, “The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain” features a slow burning introduction. It gradually constructs itself to form a loud crescendo reminiscent of the shoegazing sound. It’s a true testament of what to expect from the rest of the album and Mono themselves. “Yearning” also continuously builds like “The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain” into a massive wall of sound, but in a more immediate manner. The track itself gives off the vibe of being wavy like the tides as it quickly slows down and abruptly unleashes a moving crescendo. The drums throughout the track and album in general are simple yet undeniably effective. The superb guitar and bass accompany the drums as they completely engross the listener into its atmosphere. However, many fifteen minute tracks tend to overstay their welcome at some point and “Yearning” does exactly this. It leaves its mark as it fades with ambient static, but it certainly could have been trimmed down.

One of the pieces that shakes up the structure a bit is “Are you There?” In addition to its welcome shorter length, it has quite the gentle start. The strings swell in a more low key manner and the cymbals gingerly simmer. As a whole, it places less of an emphasis on colossal crescendos in favor of a subtler terrain. It’s driven by textures and more soothing notes as opposed to the normal bombastic ones during the climaxes. “A Heart Has Asked for the Pleasure” and “The Remains of the Day” also prove themselves as more contained than normal. “A Heart Has Asked for the Pleasure” gives the listener a moment to breath with its gentle guitar playing. “The Remains of the Day” functions a bit differently though, as sorrowful strings and melancholy piano melodies deliver a sound reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. It’s these briefer songs that serve as a much needed break from the moments that are larger in scope.

“Moonlight” ends the journey on quite the heartbreaking note as the sad piano playing sucks the listener in. It’s all well executed and the climax is empowering, but it functions all in the same way as the rest of the larger songs. It reveals the band’s forgivable use of a played out formula, but that’s not to say that they don’t make it interesting. You Are There is a fantastic triumph of post rock for most of its length. It’s a vivid take on the genre and it proves how a band can make even the most derivative playing stuff engrossing and emotional. It’s no changing face of music, but any album that can truly bring to mind visions of nature and real emotions has accomplished its goal.



Recent reviews by this author
Thrice To Be Everywhere Is to Be NowhereHaken The Mountain
Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas MarinerExplosions in the Sky The Wilderness
Rush Moving PicturesYndi Halda Under Summer
user ratings (602)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Adam Turner-Heffer (5)
...

Shattered_Future (5)
Sonic bliss....

MrUnderstanding18 (5)
Japanese post-rockers more than 'deliver the goods' - they unleash a classic....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2016


17838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey Mono fans. Nice to be writing about post rock again! Hope you guys enjoy the read and any critiques are welcome.

ashcrash9
February 1st 2016


1552 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great read, Mongi. Gotta disagree with the rating, but then again this is my favorite post-rock album ever so of course that'll happen.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2016


17838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Far from the best, Hymn and Walking Clouds are in the same boat for me but this band is always an awesome listen. Though this album definitely doesn't have any tracks as memorable as Pure As Snow.

TheCrocodile
February 1st 2016


2344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

can't remember anything from this one, will relisten later

Prognoz
February 1st 2016


278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great one, nailed the imagery that Mono conjures up in this beauty. Flames Beyond The Cold Mountains is absolutely enthralling.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2016


17838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a lot, Are You There is my favorite by a fair margin.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2016


2151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Mongi! Moonlight is a big standout to me

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2016


17838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sup Hogan thanks! Yea it's great. Brings those sad vibes.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2016


14814 Comments


Cool review dude, never heard of these guys and will have to now check 'em out.

Digging: Opeth - Sorceress

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2016


2151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This and hymn are stellar albums.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2016


17838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hymn is a bit better because of Pure As Snow but that album and this are good intros into post rock

ashcrash9
March 15th 2016


1552 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is 10 years old today

gotta jam again



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2016 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy