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Friday, Jan. 6, 2006

LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS

Mono/World's End Girlfriend: "Palmless Prayer/ Mass Murder Refrain"


Since their inceptions, Japan's Mono and World's End Girlfriend have created moving, cinematic songs. Although their approaches differ -- Mono tends to fall into the realms of crashing post-rock while WED's music has a slightly more electronic and symphonic feel -- both craft mesmerizing, epic soundscapes that have floored listeners internationally with their power and beauty.

"Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain" marks the first recorded collaboration between the two bands. Just under 74 minutes in length, the five untitled, instrumental compositions combine facets of both acts' repertoire. The first heavily orchestrated track creeps in as the sounds of footsteps and music from an old jewelry box fade out. Dominated by strings, the dark, hypnotic song builds slowly into wonderful chamber rock before morphing into the next number. Although broken down into distinct parts, the seamless transition between tracks makes the album play out like one extended, breathtaking piece.

Similar to the work of Canadian band Godspeed You Black Emperor!, the recording relies heavily on repetition, but continually incorporates new sounds as it grows into its own unique entity. The disc reaches its climax on track five when feedback-drenched guitars burst through the dense, textured arrangement. Showcasing both artists at their best, the soaring crescendo provides a brilliant contrast and does an excellent job of pulling everything finally together.



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