"Blood, Sweat and Swords" (Cake Records; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Mon Frere's "Blood, Sweat and Swords" is one of my favorite CDs of the year, yet I am hesitant to recommend it to readers of Rough Edge. Why? Because the band's unique sound cannot be categorized as hard rock, heavy metal or punk ... although there are elements of each throughout the CD. "Blood Sweat and Swords" kicks ass, but it won't make you bang your head.

What "Blood, Sweat and Swords" reminds me of is what would happen if early Alice Cooper (think "Billion Dollar Babies") met Oingo Boingo and invited Alanis Morrisette to the party. The songs are dark, haunted little tunes featuring twisted guitar, morbid rhythms, and eerily effective, female vocals. They are funky and cinematic while at the same time boasting enough macabre edge to keep them from becoming just plain silly. It's sort of like the difference between Oingo Boingo's records and Tim Burton's soundtrack to "The Nightmare Before Christmas." One has edge, the other (while brilliant) doesn't have quite so much.

Those feeling a bit adventurous in their musical tastes, and who enjoy the musique macabre, will find plenty to like in the strange world of Mon Frere.

Mon Frere: Kyle Swisher - Guitar; Nouela Johnston - Vox & Keys; Dustin McGhie - Drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:46 -0400 .