Raise Hell, Raise Babies

1) The End of the Ugliness
2) Raise Hell, Raise Babies
3) Part of Me
4) Wisdom
5) Tiki Tike Tembo
6) Naughty Boy
7) Life's Design
8) The Way I Like to Live
9) Rosy Roses
10) Real Love
11) Narcissus

The piano-backed ballads "Part of Me" and "Real Love" sound as though they could have come from Gary Jules. Sadly, these tracks are the only two that suggest singer/songwriter Mono Mono - aka Jeffrey Beringer - isn't devoid of musical talent. The rest of his album plays out like some kind of bad futuristic acid trip.

With samplers, synths, drum machines, and vocal distortion, Beringer creates a fusion of techno, hip-hop, funk, and new wave. The 11 tracks were recorded on his Mac G4, using Propellerhead Reason and Steinberg Cubasis. Most tracks would be listenable were it not for the shrieking and moaning that make certain songs laughable.

Beringer took a big chance by avoiding traditional instrumentation and compositional skills, but he misses the mark. Beats are repetitive and annoying, especially on "Tiki Tike Tembo," the worst song on the disc. The entire track rests on the words "tiki tiki tembo no sa rembo cheri beri ruchi pip berry pembo." With a bewildering lack of melody and sense, this one is too far out there.

Beringer says that the songs all are "somehow connected to the idea of destruction and construction." When he's not spouting gibberish, he does achieve something. In "Life's Design" he sings, "There is no fault/ there is no blame / just a beginning and an end. I pause the swirl of life's design to remember you, my friend."

--- Hometown CD Review 11-23-05


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