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MP3 Monster-0 - ...And Then There Were Zero

electronic rock

14 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Pop Crossover, ROCK: Modern Rock

On "...And Then There Were Zero", the full-length follow up to their 2003 EP Entertainment System, Chicago-based laptop rockers Monster-0 upgrade their glitchy techno-pop sound with live drums and guitar, while retaining the synthesizer frills and solid pop foundation of their debut. Falling somewhere between Moby at his most rock and roll and The Dandy Warhols at their most electronically re-mixed, Monster-0 find ways to make the most disparate styles - from punk to dance-pop, rock to IDM - fully compatible. In a way, ...And Then There Were Zero offers a glimpse of what might result if Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service merged into a single band.

Monster-0 make their musical mission clear from the very first track, "Doubt It", wherein a pulsing synthesizer bassline and acoustic drums explode into distorted guitars on the chorus. "I''m Not Afraid" carries on in the same vibe, mating punk riffs to a steady electronic beat as the live percussion builds in the background. "Not Going Home Alone" and "Pressure Point" see sampled loops and rock instruments competing to see which can go farther out of control, while "Photograph" pairs a chill-out electronic beat with acoustic guitar. Meanwhile the closer, "Thanks A Lot", is pure, unadulterated techno-pop.

Once a one-man laptop act, Monster-0 is now a duo consisting of vocalist/guitarist/programmer Daemon Hatfield and drummer Lindsay Williams. Live, they crank out a full band''s worth of energy and sound (with some assistance from the aforementioned laptop), giving the audience opportunities to breakdance, slow dance, and headbang throughout the set. For the most part, Monster-0 plays rock venues, but Daemon still does the occasional DJ set at dance clubs and parties.

Pushing the envelope without losing site of the pop center, paying equal lyrical attention to politics and video games, ...And Then There Were Zero manages to be experimental without being alienating. In that sense, Monster-0 can be placed just left of center, alongside the likes of Beck and Metric, planted on the fringe, whilst ever so slightly grazing the mainstream.

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