REVIEW! MonArk - Negatives

For those of you who have not heard of local band MonArk - where have you been! These dudes rock. Their CD Negatives is one of the best buys I've done in recent times. The five piece pop band from Gauteng, South Africa, sure known how to grab you attention. Their first single Smiling (released 20130) tickled my interest in this band and their follow-up single Build It Up made me want to hear from them. Finally we have their CD Negatives and oh boy, what a great piece of work. I really don't like comparing them to international acts as each band is unique in their own way. But, when listening to Negatives, I could not help thinking they remind me of the local version of American alt rockers, Imagine Dragons. The band describes its sound as ‘cinematic pop’. says that ‘MoArk deliver something completely fresh and unique, and are setting trends sonically and stirring up tastes in the South African music landscape’. It went on to say that the album was written and recorded from August 2013 to April 2014 in Potchefstroom. The band said, “A Negative is a photographic image made on film that shows the light and shade or colour values reversed from the original. A blueprint if you will, containing all the elements necessary to reproduce that image. Light, shade, colours. Happiness, joy, sorrow. This first album of ours will always be just that to us: A snapshot of how we felt and what we thought, what stories we had to tell, what conversations we wanted to have at the time, but also containing enough truth of who we are as to ensure a steady ‘image’ of us as we pursue our future.” Although the band did not intentionally pursue a singular theme for the album, one could however say that they try to view the world in a non-cynical manner, but not by simply dismissing that which is bad, evil or uncomfortable. True love, peace, happiness, etc. are most likely achieved despite the bad in the world, not in its absence – and that is the recurring subject on the album. The band found inspiration for the album in all their life experiences and relationships, past and present. The thrill of finding a ‘musical’ voice to express who they are and how they feel, in itself was also an inspiration. The result: an album you can dance to, overcome challenges to, lay on your bed and relax to and also sing to in the shower. “We have released 3 singles to date, but a story is never finished after the first 3 chapters; we invite everyone to come and experience the whole story with us, the best parts are yet to come!” -