Live review: Monoganon (album launch) at Mono 7/3/11

As people start to turn up tonight there is a touch of eagerness in the air. Monoganon’s superb second album, Songs To Swim To, had been available to hear online for sometime and was made free to download by Winning Sperm Party earlier today. The sheer charm of the album has pulled a crowd to Mono this evening keen to hear the new material in a live setting.

Most of the recent free Monday night events at Mono have had a chilled vibe resonating through the room. Below a projection showing nature at its most beautiful the band start ‘Needle Green’ and the vibe stays true. The touching, folk tinged effort sees vocalist John B McKenna’s clear, traditional Scottish vocals set off in front of some delightfully picked guitar work.

But it’s not all soft, niceness from Monoganon, this is demonstrated as they ease into ‘Anatomy’, a reworking of a track which appeared on an EP of McKenna’s a few years back, before the rhythm builds, drums soar and cymbals clatter and McKenna’s strains to reach the chorus but succeeds to fill the room.

The chaotic, room-filling turn goes some way to capturing the audience’s attention and as the track fades out McKenna exchanges a bit of banter with crowd regarding a Big Joan who had made thrown amusing comments their way earlier in the week.

There are more picked charms in ‘Eternal See You Soon’ but the clicking percussion soon builds to a powerful crescendo as the room is once again filled with sound.

The band appear in there zone as they work into the brilliantly full intro of ‘Devil’s Finger’, the track which touches past nine minutes on the record and hits seven something tonight gives the impression of an inspired jam session, everyone seems to be on the same level as McKenna screams over the din.

As the band urge the crowd to “give yourselves a round of a clause” it’s the album closer that closes the set, ‘To Glass in the Blast’ touches on the miserable side at points but its hypnotic rhythm, twinkling keys and at times falsetto vocals bring this all round to charming finish.

Monoganon have been around for a while now, and maybe the quality and talent demonstrated so clearly in their tunes, rhythm and lyrics is beginning to get the recognition it deserves. We certainly hope to be hearing a lot from them in the near future.

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