Feb 2013 02

Monospore - Control the Game... Regain Control!Monospore
Category: Electro / EBM
Album: Control the Game… Regain Control!
Stars: 1.5
Blurb: Another derivative and formulaic piece of aggro electro that simply fails to impress on any level beyond its fine production.


The world of electro/EBM music owes a tremendous debt to Front 242, for without the Belgian entity to define the parameters by which numerous artists and acts like Monospore adhere, the music community would be forced to come up with new ways to appease the masses from scratch. Indeed, the Danish duo of Jannik Vittrup and Søren Brandstrup has been making music together in various projects for over two decades, purportedly forming Monospore after attending a concert together, so it makes all the sense in the world that the band’s debut album would be wrought with all the tropes of the music they love. With remixes by Haujobb and Leæther Strip tacked onto the end, the album proper filled to the brim with pulsating sequences, fiery synth leads that are at once creepily melodic and scathing, and vocals overdriven to the point of menace without losing intelligibility, Control the Game… Regain Control! is a finely produced piece of electrified EBM that is sure to grab the attention of many a DJ in need of fodder to fill out their sets. However, that is where the album’s appeal ultimately ends, for beyond the competently programmed beats and catchy bass lines, Monospore stridently march so deep into familiar territory that only one word can truly be attributed to the band: generic. Songs like the opening “Pick It Up” with its fist pumping beat and shouting chorus, “New World Order” with its slower, falsely darker and introspectively militaristic tone, or “Old Sins” with its screeching synths and almost infectiously shouted chorus of “Old sins die hard” simply reek of the stench of the aggressive electro formulas concocted time and time again by the likes of Combichrist, :Wumpscut:, and Funker Vogt, which in themselves already culled from the foundation laid down by Front 242. All right, so Nitzer Ebb deserves a nod as well, especially given the sparsely comical refrains of “Die, die, die! Kill, kill, kill! Hurt, hurt, hurt! Thrill, thrill, thrill!” on “Control” sounding so lazy that this listener might have found a straight up cover of “Join in the Chant” to be less derivative (if such a thing can be said at this point). The slow atmosphere of “Forget You” and “GC1H7VW” could make the case for the band’s touting of gothic influences, while the faster and insistent pace of “Blow” could be traced to electro-punk, but in the end, the band fails to impress upon the listener any meaningful extrapolation of these influences, coming through the speakers simply as a regurgitation of the same old aggro electro sound we’ve been hearing since the early ‘90s. As stated, the vocals are distorted but decipherable, keeping Monospore from descending into the faux-malevolent histrionics of Suicide Commando inspired terror EBM, and given the inflammatory textures that fill every space of Control the Game… Regain Control!, credit should be given to the band’s production abilities to balance all of these disparate elements with such proficient consistency. Alas, it’s not until Haujobb’s remix of “New World Order” that any change in the album’s demeanor is detected, this version taking on a rather off-kilter arrangement that transforms the original’s banality into an engaging piece of dark electro. The Steinkind Blutzeit remix of “Pick It Up” is also noteworthy for its playful rearrangement of the beats and less obtrusive distortions, making for a more mechanical, industrialized interpretation, while Leæther Strip sets its sights straight for the dance floor in a cleaner, more rhythmic version of “Old Sins.” Despite the band’s competence, one has to wonder how Monospore’s sound might have benefitted from fuller production assistance from one of the three remixers, all demonstrating a greater tonal variety than the original material. Good production notwithstanding, Monospore’s Control the Game… Regain Control! is simply an uninteresting exercise in formula and style carbon copied from its influences with no distinctive personality or sound of its own.
Track list:

  1. Pick It Up
  2. Remember
  3. New World Order
  4. Control
  5. Follow Us
  6. Old Sins
  7. Stripped Tight
  8. Forget You
  9. Get Out
  10. Blow
  11. Darkness
  12. GC1H7VW
  13. Blue Haze (Bonus Track)
  14. New World Order (Haujobb Remix)
  15. Pick It Up (Steinkind Blutzeit Remix)
  16. Old Sins (Leæther Strip Remix)

Monospore Website http://www.monospore.com
Monospore MySpace http://www.myspace.com/monospore
Monospore Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Monospore
Delta Ego Website http://www.delta-ego.com
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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