Monster-0 – Entertainment system

Omega Point Records from Chicago started in 1995 as a cassette-only label, focusing mainly on experimental electronic music. Since then the label has moved onwards, now creating cd’s and also producing more accessible music. In their own words, they ‘supply the electropunk underground with a fresh mix of synthetic sounds and DIY, punk grit’. I had a good laugh with their press material, with humorous texts and ironic pictures.

Monster-0 is an electropunk trio, which has swapped guitars for a laptop, on stage drums and synths are added. Their sound is built on a diet of retro-electro, powerpop/rock and more contemporary electronica. The songs do not sound very extreme, they are quite poppy and accessible to listen to. Monster-0 creates good melodies, easy to hum or whistle along. The vocals of Daemon Hatfield certainly sound pleasing to the ear. Perhaps you could call it feelgood music. The opener ‘Take me Down’ has the structure of a poppy rocksong, but made with electronic means. ‘Love is on the way’ is a dramatic electronic ballad. Most songs are midtempo, you can tap your feet to them, but you won’t directly rush to the dancefloor. One of the nicest, most swinging tracks is ‘Manatee for Humanity’, with lyrics typically inspired by videogames. The final track is a cover of the 80’s Re-Flex classic ‘The Politics of Dancing’. It’s just nice for the sense of recognition, ‘nice to hear that one again’, Monster-0 version has not drastically renovated the orginal.

Half an hour of entertaining electropop sounds, with a heavy dose of retro and a pinch of irony. Monster-0 sounds even more poppy than most actual electro bands, their songs could do well on the radio, in between classic popsongs and 80’s synth tunes. I make it easy for myself and quote their press info again as a conclusion: “With one foot in good, ‘ol-fashioned arena rock and the other in in the avantgarde, digital basement, Monster-0 is a robot Bon Jovi for the Nintendo Generation.”

artist: Monster-0
label: Omega Point Records
details: 7 tracks