Back in their third incarnation, The Monochrome Set are releasing twelfth album. The band hasn't left behind their old sounds and tendencies, and in ways Spaces Everywhere has audible roots in the eighties. However, the old-school blues and new wave are combined with a fresh sounds that make this album appealing to both the fans and those unfamiliar with The Monochrome Set.
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It takes some doing to keep ones eyebrow arched for nigh on 30 years but that’s exactly what the Monochrome Set have achieved here. They were the original sophisticated, educated indie boys influencing everyone from Morrissey to Franz Ferdinand to Lloyd Cole. Their line up still shows traces of the original Adam and the Ants but it’s singer Bid’s clever wordplay that still dominates.
They’ve been surprisingly active of late, ‘Spaces Everywhere’ coming just a couple of years after last effort ‘Super Plastic City’ which is Fall-ishly prolific for reformed indie types. Like that album, this is a pleasant romp, never reaching the heights of early work but a perfectly servicable addition to their catalogue which will fill a Monochrome Set shaped gap in the lives of long term fans. Its an energetic, well produced album - opener ‘Iceman’ is probably the pick of the bunch - a slice of hi-brow pop music that most obviously recalls Edwyn Collins - in fact the opening of ‘Fantasy Creatures’ could be off one of Collins recent albums - the chorus is weird - speeding up alarmingly into a cheesy organ led ditty. Confident songs such as ‘Oh You’re Such a Star’ prove that Bid’s songwriting chops are still fully intact with it’s catchy, gospel-ish chorus.
Good stuff, I’m only on my first listen but i suspect that this could be a superior work than ‘Super Plastic City’.
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- Spaces Everywhere by The Monochrome Set
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