September 01, 2005

Mon Frere "Real Vampires"

Seattle's Mon Frere is a two-boy, one-girl trio of rockers who enjoy the simple pleasures of a good song. Their debut EP, Real Vampires EP is a pretty snazzy collection of rock songs with a bit of a bite, due in large part to some rather rad synth parts and the passionate, lusty singing of Nouela Johnson. And despite the French band name and the record's title, there's nothing particularly 'gothy' about Mon Frere at all. Instead, they have a hard rock/new wave style, as heard on great songs like "Real Ultimate Power" and "Orcs Don't Know It." On songs like "Up Circle" and "Bunch of Broccoli," though, the band overwhelms Johnson's singing, forcing her to over-emote. But for the most part, her singing is a full-on blues-rock ass kicking in the tradition that one would have expected from the late, great Mia Zapata. Though they're not reinventing the wheel, Mon Frere's simply having a good time, and Real Vampires EP is a fun little debut record.

--Joseph Kyle

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