Half Notes: Mona – Mona (2012)

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Their emblematic lead single, “Listen to Your Love,” is everything you need to know about Mona: A stirring, arena-rock riff; a howling, transfixing frontman; a propulsive, punky chorus. So, OK, this might be ground already well trod by Kings of Leon. Still, there’s something intriguingly authentic about this project, recorded in the band’s basement in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally conceived as a string of demos by the quartet (that’s guitarist/vocalist Nick Brown, drummer Vincent Gard, bassist Zachary Lindsey and guitarist Jordan Young), this teeth-rattling debut sounds like what it is: Something done live, with a minimal number of takes and a minimal number of overdubs by producer Rich Costey (Foo Fighters, Muse, Arctic Monkeys). By the time it’s over, the gutsy DIY attitude found throughout this album — due on February 21 from Zion Noiz via Mercury Records — ends up completely ratifying the almost-too-good-to-be-true promise of Mona’s rocket-ride early recognition at this year’s MTV VMAs, the BBC’s influential Sound Of 2011 poll and the South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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