Mono / Pelican – Split

An interesting collaboration by two post rock acts: Mono from Japan and the lesser known Pelican from the USA.

Side A contains two tracks by Pelican: Ran Amber and Angel Tears, which is remixed by James Plotkin (O.L.D., Khanate). Mono fills the B-Side with one long track entitled Yearning, recorded in New York by Steve Albini. The split record comes in a lovely sleeve and is limited to 4000 copies, a joint release by the labels Temporary Residence Limited and Hydra Head.

As can be expected from post rock, both groups contribute long atmospheric instrumental tracks, mostly carried by multiple guitar layerss. Mono really convinced me with their highly dynamic 15 minute track, which goes from slow and hypnotizing to loud and exuberant. An impressive piece in which the tension is nicely built up to a noisy climax.

The first track by Pelican needs some time to really start, with an strange intro dominated with piano sounds. After a while doomy guitar riffs and heavy drums take over, which at first remind me of stoner rock. They are nicely combined though with warm, acoustic elements, which give the song a melodic character. Towards the end everything gets a little louder and faster, almost getting out of control. After inhaling some fresh breath, the record continues with the more inaccessible Plotkin remix, with a very heavy, bass-dominated sound. It makes your speakers rumble and it’s certainly noisy, but the lack of melody makes me get impatient, so halfway I flip the record again.

artist: Mono
label: Temporary Residence Limited
details: 3 tracks, 2005