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Review: Mental Monky Ballet, “Breaking the Law”

No Comments 6 July 2014

Review: Mental Monky Ballet, “Breaking the Law”

“There’s a timeless quality to the music that emanates from great bands; and the urgent, accessible, exciting, and darkly dreamy songs on Mental Monky Ballet’s Breaking the Law make it so easy to fall in love with them at first listen.”

Artist: Mental Monky Ballet

EP: Breaking the Law

Genre: Rock/Pop

RIYL: Garbage, The Cranberries, Blondie, Siouxsie & the Banshees

Mental Monky Ballet

As soon as “Into the Open” kicks into high gear at about the :40 mark, I was hooked on Mental Monky Ballet’s new EP, Breaking the Law. This Stockholm, Sweden-based band should one of those bands you make a point to check out…and soon. In a way, it’s sort of incomprehensible that they’re not massive stars already; but that just means we’re lucky enough to get in on the ground floor and look cool to all our friends for suggesting they give them a listen.

If “Into the Open” doesn’t grab you and refuse to let you go, then “Club 27” will most certainly stick in your head for hours after listening to it. I was getting a very Blondie-esque vibe from this one, and the impassioned lyrics and performance lift this song to a higher level. This track is a sort of commemoration to Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and other musical personalities forming the mythical 27 Club, strongly associated with the hard and destructive life of musical genius colliding with drug culture. The entire band shines throughout the record, but it’s the lead performance from Vivi Lundström that escalates every track. She is most certainly a divine creature formed of equal parts Debbie Harry, Exene Cervenka, Kate Bush and Shirley Manson.

“Different” is another emotionally-charged song that has an anthemic quality that transcends generations and genres. The relatability factor is high here, and it touches on a universal theme of feeling like a social outcast and questioning those unique qualities that make us all different. The result is a powerful lyrical weapon that makes Mental Monky Ballet’s uniqueness even more accessible. “Breaking the Law” is just pure musical heaven; a relentless and delightfully off-kilter style that just hammers gorgeous vocals, wonderfully warped guitars and a spoken overlay that actually works.

“You’re More Trouble Than You’re Worth” is, well, alarmingly easy for this writer to relate to (although I’m going to bet there are others out there). But I love the aggressively cheeky attitude and direct delivery.  “Get Around This” explores yet another dimension of the band’s diverse but cohesive range of sound, employing some lovely and unexpected harmonies and beautiful melancholic breakout moments.

There’s a timeless quality to the music that emanates from great bands; and the urgent, accessible, exciting, and darkly dreamy songs on Mental Monky Ballet’s Breaking the Law make it so easy to fall in love with them at first listen. This is smart, well-written music that only leaves me wondering one thing: what took me so long to find out about them? Oh yeah, because they just recently formed in early 2013, which makes their cooler than cool Nordic vibe and consistency even more remarkable for such a young band. What a gorgeous, shimmery, and glorious start.


Mental Monky Ballet website: http://www.mentalmonkyballet.com/

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