Monno – Cheval Ouvert (CD Idiosyncratics)


A hybrid record, some kind of crossover between Sunn O))) and Lightnin Bolts, nothing less to be expected by Swiss Monno. Before releasing Monno’s third animal, both Roli Mossiman, former Swans drummer and producer and guitarist/producer James Plotkin were involved in making it a true beast by nature. Metal pounding drums, with the only constant being a worshipping of repetition and sluggish by nature, these guys deliver a mind-blowing structured chaos, in the form of four super heavy tranquillizers, which becomes an invasive information leaflet of restrained aggression and artistic noise rock.

 It is a massive, sometimes really impermeable, wall of sound, structured, stratified and disciplined but nevertheless Monno’s extreme motorik tantalizes. Lengthy, messy Slayer-like intro’s before the hellish riffing start. Pulsating percussion to summon a constant level of pain, inducing euphoria like those other Swiss techno-rockers Young Gods were capable of. The opener also reminded me somewhat of Biohazard’s metropolitan punk and the great thing here is that it just keeps on dwelling as if it never is able to choose a direction and therefore just keeps on repeating itself. The flip side (if that word is allowed) they try to recover, exchanging brutality with suspense with 11 minutes of Swans-echoes, say Greed era, on the third track and a fourth, more sedative track that sounds like an anesthetic version of the first two tracks. These two work as the natural human body response to pain, producing endorfines when needed, here carefully dosed through the ear.    

Monno is making a case of combining downright brutality and artistic invention with a sense for drama with a psyched out edge, leaving one’s veins pounding at high pressure long after everything became silent. This is a release to listen to, to absorb, assimilate and remember. The CD comes with a special digipack brilliantly designed by Barcelona based visual artist Marc O'Callaghan and it is strictly limited to 300 copies. My advice is to hurry up just to make sure you have one. PvdG.