Real Vampires EP
The intro to Real Vampires‘ second track is where similarly-styled dance-punk outfit Veronica Lipgloss should start taking notes. For all of that band’s adequate scenester posturing, Mon Frere adds many idiosyncratic dynamics to separate themselves from the angular haircut-sporters. Check out the jazzy drum/keys interplay on “Up Circle,” the slinky Pink Panther-esque guitar lines on “Orcs Don’t Know It” and the icy metal riffing and playful D&D electronics of “Bunch of Broccoli.” All of these are prime indicators of songwriters having fun rather than relying heavily on the hipster fakebook. Interwoven with the genre’s standard fare of jittery rhythms and pathos-ridden vocals — provided nicely by Nouela Johnston — the band creates something that seems avant-garde in relation to the surrounding tired formula, but, in reality, just harkens back to when indie dance music was about fun, not spilling blood and maintaining “cred.” With five songs in less than fifteen minutes, Mon Frere plays it smart enough to work their audience into a frenzy while not overstaying their welcome. Pretty good for the first time around.