Monroeville Music Centre – Choose Your Own Adventure (2013)

The success of Monroeville Music Centre isn’t so much their flawless recreation of 1970s and 1980s electronica but in the vibrant manner of the music. So much retro music of this type is sterile and dour, but their album, Choose Your Own Adventure breathes with life, energy and humour. More than just exhuming the music of yesteryear Monroeville are reconnecting us, the audience, with our long-dimmed feelings of optimism for the future. There’s such a child-like sense of wonder permeating the album that the excitement is contagious.

Humour is a key ingredient. The majority of electronic music on bandcamp is good but reeks of teenage boys in their bedroom taking it all a bit too seriously. MMC are clearly having fun, and that feeling is transmitted to the listener. Moreover, there is a slickness and professionalism at work which sets them apart from many electronic acts.

I’m not entirely certain what Monroeville Music Centre are and if they are serious or not. Check out their website (here) to see what I mean. Mystery in the 21st century is a rare commodity. I could find out more about the band but really I’d rather not.

So let’s look at some of the highlights from Choose Your Own Adventure, released in 2013.

cover - monroe

Kraftwerk’s Metropolis looms large in it’s clinical future-awe sheen. Here and there you can discern the the squelchy, queasy soundtrack by Goblin to Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead. The latter seems a safe bet to cite as an influence. considering Monroeville was the name of the mall, setting of the cult zombie satire.

Many of the songs are shining, energetic electro-pop cut from the same cloth as The Human League. You can imagine these songs being mimed in an over lit studio for Top Of The Pops in the early 80s, brimming with bad haircuts. To hear ‘The Cave Of Time’ click here.

‘The Perfect Planet’ could almost be an electro-pop version of ‘She Sells Sanctuary’. ‘Invaders From Within’ is slower with an almost warped and decaying sound emanating from the synths. ‘Motorcross Mania’ is practically too blaring for containment, breaking up into white light.

‘You Are A Monster’ has a relentless ardour, not a million miles from a chiptunes cover of ‘The Bad Touch’.

Short and magical.

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