CD Review

La Mamoynia – “Mono Ego”

By Marcus Pan

Mono EgoI’m having serious problems enjoying La Mamoynia’s Mono Ego. The four of them – Dimitris Triantafyllou (vocals & programming), Giuseppe Agosti (bass & “urban percussions” & programming), Antonio Scalvenzi (drums & “urban percussions”) and Omal (bass & programming) – try hard enough, but there’s an undeniable silliness here that I can’t ignore. Let me explain…

Musically, Mono Ego isn’t too bad but suffers from a childishness combined with a lack of any semblance of power. Three programmers also make for a bit of a messy sound, and I have no clue what “urban percussion” is[1] though I have theories of it. I’m wondering if I can put myself down as an “urban percussionist” too, along with my 18 month old son, 8 year old daughter and the cat & dog.

There’s no live guitars here either with the exception of two bass guitars. It’s kind of a strange set-up really, and the music comes off a bit mashed with post-punk and new-wave flavors. I’m sure these guys could probably write brilliant lyrics in their own tongue, but translated into English we have an “All Your Base” situation here. They’re rather bland too, and I don’t know if this is due to a limitation in English vocabulary or complete pedanticism.

Sometimes the effect is blasé: “Always try to be the best, try to be somebody else.” (Ich Bin Niemand). “And nothing more for you, your kisses aren’t so great.” (And Nothing More For You). Oft-times the effect is undeniably funny: “Links don’t answer to rules of reasonableness.” “…in limitless feints of chain crashing ways.” (Links). Also, “And nothing more for you! All my love has fade!” (And Nothing More For You). “And the TV is playing loud, is covering my silent cry.” (I Stand Alone). Unfortunately, I just can’t get past this much without giggling. I’m not trying to make fun here – surely I couldn’t write anything beyond silliness had I wanted to write in a different language, but the difference is I know that and therefore I won’t do it.

On the whole, La Mamoynia I think have their hearts in the right place. They just mislabeled the two packages “talent” and “silliness” and accidentally grabbed the latter on the way to the studio one morning. So they’ll need to re-label those, first up, and then maybe try a guitar to add a little oomph to the sound. Following that they’ll need to dump the “urban percussion” bit, fire a programmer or two and either write in their own language or study hard – really damn hard – with English before penning further lyrics.

Contact Information:
La Mamoynia
Post: Dimitris Triantafyllou, Via A. Grandi, 6, 25026 - Pontevico (BS), Italy
[1] JohnnyB and I reviewed a live act once at the Palace, G-11, who used a shopping cart as part of their “Look How Different We Are” drum kit. I’m assuming “urban percussion” is something like that, or maybe La Mamoynia have a low-budget studio and they want to credit the passing trucks and busses on the street maybe. The Palace live review was in Legends #78.