MONO, For My Parents

Bill Murphy

By Bill Murphy

on 09.05.12 in Reviews
Oceanic and echo-drenched songs at a stately pace

Experimental noise rock has long been a prime commodity on the Japanese music scene, its roots going back to Keiji Haino, Boredoms, Ground Zero, Boris and more. And while the four members of MONO certainly draw part of their sound from that well, what really slakes their thirst is a Mogwai-indebted sense of sweeping melody and slow-motion dynamics. For My Parents is their first album out from under the wing of Steve Albini since 2002′s self-recorded One Step More and You Die, but in recruiting producer Henry Hirsch (known for his work with Lenny Kravitz in the ’90s) and taking over the cathedral space at Hirsch’s Waterfront Studios, the scope is more oceanic and echo-drenched, and the pace is stately to say the least; the shortest cut here is “Dream Odyssey,” which clocks in at a blistering eight minutes and change. At times the band calls up the neo-classical bluster of the Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed – especially on the string-soaked treacle of “Nostalgia” – but with just about everything from the ’60s being open season these days, it’s a nerdy and decidedly un-psychedelic twist that encapsulates the single-minded Shibuya take on post-rock: no matter the artistic risks, you can’t own it if you don’t fully commit.