Mono
Nowhere Now Here


3.0
good

Review

by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (209 Reviews)
January 25th, 2019 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cautiously Evolving

Repetition is a risky game in music. It either offers a hypnotic experience and progressively enhances a drawn-out moment of blissful catharsis to an emotional peak or it creates an uninteresting temperament where the constant recurrence of the same method inspires nothing bar a complete lack of originality. The latter extremity is often seen in the case of the most popular bands, however, their reputation often excuses them from negative critique, where their timeworn approach is disguised as ‘traditional’ in cheap ways such as “business as usual” or “just X being typical X”.

Mono encompasses everything about repetition- from the good to the bad and the risky grey area in between. Only, their risk factor is set even higher than other bands. Not only do each of their nine albums revolve around their fundamental sound of constructing layers of repetitious melodies and harmonies only to release at breaking point, but each song on their respective albums practices the exact same formula. Ironically, at this point, Mono’s music has become so repetitious that the once mesmerising, expansive and intensifying songs have become formulaic, predictable, repetitious- dull.

So, what do you do for your tenth album if you’re a band who has confined itself into a genre that relies heavily on repetition, who is one of the standard-bearers for that genre and whose best attribute has now become their worst enemy"

Well, there are a few things Mono showcases that increases a notable liveliness to their sound. Firstly, new drummer Dahm Majuri Cipolla’s intense drum explosions are far more prominent than the Japanese quartet’s past few releases. Nothing about Mono’s instrumentation can honestly be considered erratic but he does cast this sense of dare and capriciousness across some of the album’s emotional capstones, particularly in “After You Comes the Flood” that captures Mono’s fundamental liberating torrents of noise. Secondly, “Breathe” marks Tamaki’s first vocal output where her smooth whispers compliment the airy soundscape. Although this is only a minor variation at face value, the fact that they have chosen to do something new and uncommon marks a huge step forward in Mono’s potential. Likewise, Mono has also included synthesisers in “Nowhere Now Here”. Whenever they are utilised in an otherwise conventional-sounding Mono song, like “Meet Us Where the Night Ends”, the additional layer of sound strikes a balance between futuristic divergence and accustomed practices in brilliant fashion.

Nevertheless, however subtly Mono incorporates these slight deviations from the norm, the fact still remains that “Nowhere Now Here” can still be classified simply as ‘another Mono album’. “Far and Further” leads you into a false sense of expectation as the pendulous rhythm remains stationary and as the swelling guitars in the title track meander around orchestral instruments they suddenly deflate into a concave, anxious state where any feeling of liberation consequently crumbles. Cutting this track to this point would be a great and daring move for Mono but despite the band attempting to regain momentum and, what’s more, intensify it for another four minutes, it becomes difficult to differentiate the majority of these songs from the majority of Mono’s catalogue

Perhaps it was intended for the album to sound shy and quaint, which the production admittedly does a great job in reflecting, but as a whole “Nowhere Now Here” just sounds passive. Overall, this is the sound of Mono’s deliberately cautious evolution. Dedicated fans of post rock and instrumental music will easily nestle into in the tried and tested techniques of this album; for other’s “Nowhere Now Here” needs more fortitude to challenge the overwhelming fragility.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Scheumke (3.5)
A little more digestible, a little less genuine....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice! Great write up Chamb. I am loving the first half of this, the second, not so much, aside from the end of "Meet us..." that is godly.

Digging: Deafkids - Metaprogramao

Scheumke
January 25th 2019


391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review man! You outdid me haha. Can I just point out how gorgeous that artwork is btw.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2019


4746 Comments


Great review! There are some really good songs here, but half of it moves at such a slow pace it kills a bit the vibe of the cooler tracks.

Mongi123
January 25th 2019


20168 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Beat me to it man. I love Parting and Meet Me Where The Night Ends. Other than that most of this is just needlessly pretentious repetition that goes nowhere. Plus, good god Breathe is awful. Truly terrible singing lol.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Breathe is painful. Song is alright but god do I understand now why they are instrumental lol

Sniff
January 25th 2019


5442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorrow owns

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The opener slays cows

Sniff
January 25th 2019


5442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck you chicken and fuck you cow

DungeonBoy
January 25th 2019


5607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review bud! excited to hear this new drumming that you mention. Hymn to the Immortal Wind is one of the most beautiful albums I've ever listened to, but I haven't been really drawn into anything else they've done outside of that. Will probably give this a spin at some point. Anyone know if this is streaming anywhere?

Digging: Vehemence (FRA) - Par le sang vers

Scheumke
January 25th 2019


391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's on Spotify if you have it

DungeonBoy
January 25th 2019


5607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks dude, I don't at the moment, but I'll keep that in mind

minty901
January 25th 2019


3685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Really like this. Less lazy than their recent efforts. Some nice use of dynamics and some lovely melodies. They're way past their peak, I think that's pretty clear, but this album is a good version of what they do.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2019


15065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

New drummer reminds me a lot to Neurosis'

DungeonBoy
January 25th 2019


5607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Okay, now I gotta jam this. Did a little light digging lol, it's on bandcamp:



https://monoofjapan.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-here

DungeonBoy
January 25th 2019


5607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The opener has some much potential with the strings and horns building up and when those drums come in it just hits so hard, but by the end of After You Comes the Flood, I'm already tired of it. The vocals on Breathe are jarring, but the soundscape is beautiful. The drums are much more forward and present in the mix which is nice. That punchy snare really drives it. The longest track on the album was kinda a throwaway mono song. Competent but not compelling. The next couple tracks plodded along, I wanted to turn it off at this point but remained steadfast in my journey to completely experience a modern MONO album. The end of Sorrow was a nice peak, but the build-up along the way was a test of patience. Meet us Where the Night Ends started to shift things back into interesting thank goodness. A very wise choice for that drum pattern that starts to kick things in gear and overall makes for a pretty good track. The album finally wraps up with maybe one of the best songs on the album, which to be honest isn’t saying a whole lot. Good album but I don’t think I’ll ever listen to this album again. Solid 3 (maybe 3.5) / 5

Mongi123
January 25th 2019


20168 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I’ve heard drone songs with less repetition than Flood.

CaliggyJack
January 25th 2019


2755 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely not as good as Requiem but it's still classic Mono

Josh D.
January 25th 2019


14144 Comments


I can hear the Earthquaker Devices Afterneath in there and I'm instantly engorged.

DungeonBoy
January 25th 2019


5607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's gonna take more than a little reverb to make this thing interesting

Josh D.
January 25th 2019


14144 Comments


I just started listening, so I'll find out soon enough. I'm just really partial to that pedal.



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