Mona, 'Mona' (ZionNoiz/Mercury/Island)

Critical Mass
Release Date: May 16, 2011
Label: ZionNoiz/Mercury/Island

by Maura Johnston

This U.K.-hyped Nashville band's debut is full of broad rock gestures and sticky hooks that initially satisfy, but reveal themselves over time as a bit too eager. While the slow burn of "Lines in the Sand" and the pummeling of "Cloak and Dagger" seem designed to blast out of car radios, it's a challenge not to notice the numerous big-name influences -- there's more than a pinch of Bono in frontman Nick Brown's caterwauls, and a heaping cup of Muse in the bombastic accompaniment supplied by his admittedly capable cohorts.

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