Let's go politico! Guerrilla record label Nice Weather For Air Strikes are dropping the bomb with
this debut release from Monsters Build Mean Robots - as Rory carroll reports...
Myspace has already condemned a generation of pimply - sometimes feral - youths to their
computer, aimlessly waiting to see which of their friends have 'poked' them or added a new
arty photo of themselves. More disturbingly, the very same website has also unleashed a
heinous wave of stuttering, mockney-singing, NME cover vermin who are inevitably destined to
chew up airwaves and monopolise the charts.
This is why it's refreshing to find a record label prepared to take a risk and put some integrity
back into the industry. Independent label Nice Weather for Air Strikes have dedicated
themselves to promoting innovative and inspirational music - and Monsters Build Mean Robots
are one of the many jewels in their sparkling crown.
MBMR's self-titled debut draws from a diverse bank of influences, mixing equal parts processed
beats with soft vocals and artful arrangements. There are echoes of Sigor Ros and Explosions
in the Sky on the beautiful 'The Freedom To Fire Those Freedom Rockets,' which deploys
tremolo guitar licks and swirling atmospherics to devastating effect.
The duo have clearly taken issue with certain world events, and the album includes references
to tanks, rockets and on one track (thisiswheretheoilcomesfrom.com) a website which clearly
shows distaste for the oil industry. Sadly however, after a Google search it would appear that
the website doesn't exist.
However, it's not all sweeping atmospherics and political referencing. Opening track 'Do Uncles Dream of Electric Kids' shares the familiar bassline grumble of an Aphex Twin song, and
transitions seamlessly into the electric drum-loop laden 'Stroll Into Flames To Find Self.'
You could easily roll you eyes at the fact that a band allegedly disillusioned with Myspace
actually owns a Myspace - but that's just one of life's little ironies. The fact is that we need
labels like Nice Weather for Air Strikes to keep giving bands like MBMR a fair chance in an
increasingly competitive industry. Monsters do indeed build mean robots - how else would you
explain Jeremy Kyle? - but on the face of this LP, they also make some damn fine music.
Artrocker rating: 4/5