A New Band Shines at Mercury Lounge

January 14th, 2011

Mona – Mercury Lounge – January 13, 2010

Despite New York City being the media capital of the world and the place people come to be seen and make their presence known, sometimes bands, even American ones, gain wider attention in other places—like overseas (“We’re huge in Europe”)—before they do here, which is most certainly the case with Mona, the four-piece Nashville band without an album but plenty of hype. With just three songs streaming on their MySpace page, they’ve already appeared on TV in England and they’re in the running for MTV UK’s “Brand New for 2011.”

So last night at Mercury Lounge, a large crowd for the early show came out to see what the fuss is all about. And over the course of seven songs in about 30 minutes, they found out. People have mentioned early U2 and Kings of Leon when discussing Mona’s sound. Although those are some lofty comparisons, similarities to Ireland’s most famous export are noticeable on songs like “Lines in the Sand.” And frontman Nick Brown’s voice isn’t so dissimilar from Caleb Followill’s.

Of course, where Brown, hopping around stage in a plain white T, (hard-thumping) drummer Vince Gard, bassist Zach Lindsey and guitarist Jordan Young will make it or not is in defining their own sound. Some of their songs show they’ve got plenty of room to grow, but others demand to be heard by bigger audiences in larger rooms before screaming audiences. The future is theirs. —R. Zizmor