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The Monochrome Set

Booker: Carsten Friedrichs

"Cosmonaut" (out on September 9th, 2016)

The Monochrome Set is black & white, at the same time, with no grey.

That's what the name always meant – delivering mirth and melancholy, pleasure and panic, delight and dread, wrapped up in tuneful pop songs with curious lyrics.

The band seem to occupy a parallel universe, with a rich panoply of sounds and words, all somehow evocative of something just beyond reach or remembrance – yet the songs have an immediate simplicity and power.

“Cosmonaut”, the band's 13th album, is a perfect example of this exhilarating mix. The title track opens with a Theremin cyber fly buzzing towards your skull before the song hits, launching you into a mirror dimension that is both familiar and alien. The whole album is a trip that starts with a hallucinating cash-till lady, then travels through dream-sets involving cannibalism, disaffected squirrels, strange gods, dying sweethearts, sexual depravity, Alzheimer's, backward evolution, and ends in an operating theatre, amid a sea of medical tentacles.

In short, a camping holiday.

The trademark TMS guitar is ever-present, but this time complemented by delightfully busy keyboards, which give an added richness and spice to the album.

In just 30 minutes, “Cosmonaut” will catapult you into orbit and take you on a zany, hallucinogenic joyride – not in outer space as it turns out, but in and around the arcane and fantastical recesses of Bid's imagination. With minimal risk of explosion, persistent floatiness or disappointing space food.