Album: Mona, Mona (Zion Noiz/Island)

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The Independent Culture

Much is expected of Nashville-based rockers Mona, winners of MTV's "Brand New for 2011" award.

And, certainly, a support slot on Kings of Leon's summer tour won't harm their prospects at all, particularly since their sound is so clearly designed for stadium rock. But there's ultimately nothing distinctive here to grab the imagination. The singer has obviously modelled his every inflection on Bono, and the guitarist likewise over-employs Edge-style arpeggiated riffs; but they lack U2's broader ambition and sense of purpose. "Say You Will" just recycles hoary old cliches about some girl carrying "the devil's child", while even playing to the gallery on the youth anthem "Teenager", all Mona can offer is the reassurance that "it's going to get a little better". That's it? A little better? Hardly the clarion call to action one might have hoped for.

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