Nick James and Mona have put out some good music over the years. Their latest is a six song EP that’s going to be a great listen if you’re an established fan of the band and okay one if you’re not.
The first thing to know about Mona is that it’s kind of like a weird Kings of Leon spinoff. James has been friends with those guys for years and they write in similar styles and have similar styles of music. The second thing you need to know about Mona is that it’s James show and that’s not only because how the band writes music; it’s because of how he sings. In the middle of a chorus the sounds around most Mona songs traditionally have been atmospheric for James to show off a wailing vocal that’s extremely passionate. This EP does a good job of highlighting that on a couple of tracks.
If there’s one thing wrong with this album it’s what’s been wrong with all Mona albums. They’ve been around for well over 5 years at this point and they don’t have an anthem yet. There’s no song that epitomizes the band. It doesn’t have to be a hit; it just should be reason enough to go see them live. The difference between Kings of Leon and Mona on a success level is simple – it’s that Kings of Leon has songs that you’d want to go hear in a live environment and songs that you’d go out of your way to hear and see played live, Mona has never made that type of an album or even that kind of song
The new EP from Mona is good, the band’s consistent as they’ve ever been and the same can be said for Nick James’ vocals and song writing skills. It would be nice if they had that one amazing song, but previous knowledge tells me that Nick James doesn’t give a shit about a defining song, he just wants to do what he does best; make great music.