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- Super Plastic City by The Monochrome Set
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 11 April 2014
The Monochrome Set were ace. Arch, clever early 80’s pop that was an influence on the nascent Morrissey as well as a whole host of wordy, literate indie bands that followed in their wake. I’m not 100% sure I should extend that into the present tense following a cursory listen to this vinyl edition of their 2013 album but its not a bad return at all.
Its amazing they are still around in pretty much unchanged line up with Lester Square and Andy Warren (both ex Adam and the Ants) backing up lead crooner and songwriter Bid. Its one of those later period albums by a great band that has everything intact from the glory days, yet just lacks a little something to make it comparable. Opener ‘Super Plastic City’ is a jaunty call and response slightly mariachi sounding tune, pleasant but not as good as ‘The Time I’ve Spent Doing Nothing’ which melodically recalls The Monkees ‘Last Train to Clarkesville’ with a nice wandering melody if the lyrics don’t wholly convince. ‘If I Could Be Woebegone’ sounds very much like Edwyn Collins early solo work, full of bouncy melodicisms. ‘Turn It Off’ is however a little irritating so I will do just that.
Their early albums have been incredibly influential and inquisitive fans of 80’s indie should start with something like ‘Strange Boutique’ or ‘Eligible Bachelors’. For long term fans this will fill a hole. The songs stay on the quirky and unusual end of things if never quite matching past glories.
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