"...And Then There Were Zero"

(Omega Point Records 2004)Monster-0 - ...And Then There Were Zero

Where their self-titled 2003 debut was a succinct seven song affair of clever, cocky lyrics, Monster-0's "...And Then There Were Zero" gives a better feel for the band. The duo, made up of Daemon Hatfield and Lindsay Williams, keep "...And Then There Were Zero" modest and to the point, avoiding overly fancy programming and instrumentation for what results in a concentrated effort.

Keeping things light and relatively barebones, "Doubt It" and "I'm Not Afraid" still manage to set you bouncing. The lo fi punk sounds of "Not Going Home Alone" and "Pressure Point" crash and bang with style and attitude. Pulses twinkle and bubble up on the soft "Burt Bacharach Was Right" as drums patter gently on "I Just Might," a slow guitar solo adding to the song's emotion. A cash register type sound effect clinks throughout the whimsical instrumental "Afternoon." "Photograph" and "Ultramega" are stripped down, poignant ballads that quietly make their mark. However, disappointing is the fact that Monster-0 include two, albeit strong, tracks -- "Take Me Down" and "Or So You Think" -- on "...And Then There Were Zero" from their debut album.

Monster-0's "...And Then There Were Zero" does not feel like rock nor does it feel like electronic, despite being nearly equal parts of each. Instead, Monster-0 is able to make you overlook the labels to focus on Hatfield's quiet vocals and thoughtful lyrics. Without a doubt, Monster-0 comes across as likable with a sort of "every man" attitude that has a little something for everyone.