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Monostar

The Airport

Soap/The Music Cartel

Monostar isn't breaking any new ground on this album, but they make up for it with their incredibly catchy guitar hooks and rhythms. Everything here would have been right at home in the 1980's. On vocals, I can't help but compare Eric Palmqwist to the whiney lead singer of the Flaming Lips on their hit song "She Don't Use Jelly." Instead of singing about jelly, cheese, and Vaseline, these songs focus on love and how difficult it is to function without his significant other. A few songs go off on tangents about fruit and space travel, which seems to be the major theme for this album, given the extensive collection of astronaut and rocket photos on the jacket. "Jee is a Loser" gets my nod for the catchiest song here, despite the fact that it ridicules some guy accused of having no life. Many of the guitar riffs here sound a lot like they came from Celebrity Skin by Hole or the Neil Young and Pearl Jam collaboration, Mirrorball . Layered guitar riffs aren't all Monostar has to offer, spacey, synthesized sounds are also in abundance. For fans of catchy pop music, this disc is one that should be heard.

The Music Cartel, 106 West 32nd Street, 3rd Floor, New York City, NY 10001

--Troy Mayhew