Me And My Machine
Released: Saturday 20 November 2010
Read any write-up about Sweden-based psych-garage rockers Mono Stereo, and you'll find they're compared to some great bands, giving them quite something to live up to - The Byrds, The Kinks, The Chocolate Watch Band and Spacemen 3 are all iconic acts to follow. With their previous single 'On and On' having been given support from Steve Lamacq and Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6Music), they've got something to live up to with this new single, 'Me and My Machine', jumping right onto the psych-rock renaissance bandwagon.
Starting with all the elements of a great psych-rock song - a driving hollow-body guitar sound and reverb covered vocals, simple catchy melody and tambourine throughout - it could be mistaken for something from The Brian Jonestown Massacre's archives. There's something just not quite right though, and it's hard to pinpoint exactly what, but something is making the song a little bit too Oasis-like to be totally comfortable. Maybe they've watered down their sound for the 'radio edit' and that sellable single.
The b-side, 'You Gotta Take Me Home', is more of a Spectrum inspired tune, looser and definitely more psychedelic. It's decidedly droney, in a good way; the vocals drag and sound a bit like they're being sung by a drunkard, with the acoustic guitar melody and Hammond making a definite lean to the shoegaze side of the band's influences.
There is something nice about the band's identity - having taken elements of the 60s garage scene and the 90s psych influenced bands, yet fitting in side-by-side with the likes of The Black Angels as well as lo-fi pop bands emerging from the US West Coast. All in all, they've got a rounded sound that will slot them into various scenes. Listening to other songs by the band, such as the brilliant 'A Matter of Confusion' and 'Orange is Green', this release could be misleading, or maybe it's just a fluke when they make good songs. The judgement could go either way, but they've got a good sound and have set the bar high with their comparisons. One to put on the 'keep watching' shelf for sure.