Mono Men

Ten Cool Ones

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In the liner notes to the 100-percent cover song release Ten Cool Ones, the listener is told to just "shut up and have fun," and that's a pretty good description of the Mono Men and their approach to music. Lots of distortion, power chords, shouted/sung vocals; in other words, undistilled punk power. The group's main influence is the legendary proto-punk rockers the MC5, as evidenced in a barnstorming cover of the MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" that launches the album. Whereas it's unclear if fellow drink-rock labelmates Prisonshake actually do consume, the Mono Men confirm their vice on the back cover of Ten Cool Ones (all members are seen happily clutching their bottles of brew). "Hey Little Bird" would have sounded right at home on the Dead Boys' classic debut Young, Loud, and Snotty, as singer/guitarist John Mortensen sounds almost exactly like Dead Boys singer Stiv Bators. The group also pulls out a fun cover of Link Wray's squawking instrumental "Run Chicken Run," and hits you down low with the repetitive, bass-heavy riffing of "As for Tomorrow." In many ways, the Mono Men's Ten Cool Ones is the ultimate punk rock party. For fans of the raucous sound and approach of the MC5, Mudhoney, and other punkers, this release is highly recommended.

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