Return To Mono: Framebreaker

~ Thursday, 3 February 2011
San Franciscan electro rockers Return To Mono reminded me of Garbage. The band that is. There sound is slightly more electro driven than Shirley Manson and her cohorts but where RTM trump them is that their music has a far more dynamic depth to it. Darker and dirtier.

In Tanya Kelleher they have a front woman with a distinctive and unique voice that is a much the driving heart of the band as their relentless drum machines and electro bass lines. The title track,
Framebreaker, is a pulsing slice of electro dance that has effortless crossover appeal while the ethereal sounding The Promise retains a certain fragility even given the drum'n'bass style backing that shows a great understanding of pulling different genres together and using them to great effect. The 80's sounding Seeker Circuit is the one track that seems to capture exactly what RTM are all about. They take their influences from bands who pioneered music rather than copied it, yet RTM are indeed copyists... just very good ones. While bands doing a similar thing like Florence And The Machine lack creativity and individuality, RTM have this in abundance.

They like to play with sound as See You On The Other Side and XRUZT take us on a blip and bleep ride of electro experimentation that is strangely hypnotic. On Black Swan they remind us of their dance credentials with a song that will have left field groovers heading for the discothèque.

This is an album that takes a few risks and is all the better for it. RTM make pop music and it doesn't come much better than this.

[][][][][ (4.5/5)