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The Monochrome Set – What a Whopper! (1992)

9-07-2015, 11:33
Music | Pop | Indie | FLAC / APE

The Monochrome Set – What a Whopper! (1992)

Artist: The Monochrome Set
Title Of Album: What a Whopper!
Year Of Release: 1992
Label: Richmond Records ‎– MONDE 2CD
Genre: Indie Pop, New Wave
Format: Mp3 | FLAC (tracks,cue,log)
Quality: 320 kbps | Lossless
Total Time: 49:12 min
Total Size: 122 mb | 329 mb


01. Black Are The Flowers (03:15)
02. Espresso (03:11)
03. Ten Don'ts For Honeymooners (02:53)
04. Yo Ho Ho (04:50)
05. The Man With The Black Moustache (03:53)
06. Martians Go Home (01:50)
07. Swing (05:03)
08. Fall Out (02:22)
09. Andiamo (03:05)
10. Life (03:46)
11. Straits Of Malacca (03:18)
12. Sugar Plum (03:41)
13. Goodbye Joe (02:09)
14. Strange Boutique (02:54)
15. Sukra Sawdhmani (02:38)
16. Black Chapati (00:31)

The Monochrome Set have more compilations in their discography than actual albums, because Cherry Red Records executives seemingly have no end of ways to repackage their music. What a Whopper!, from 1992, is one of the group's most puzzling releases, however. From the sitar-and-chat-show opening ("So to explain how you can look mean and moody and still be Asian, here's Bid!") to the just plain weird closing track, "Sukra Sawdhamani," which features a huge and unrehearsed children's chorus singing in Bengali to an unrelated Monochrome Set instrumental track, the album plays up both singer/songwriter Bid's Anglo-Indian heritage (to the point of reprinting his recipe for cashew halvah in the liner notes) and the trippier psychedelic pop elements of the group's sound. More intriguingly, although several of the song titles are familiar (well over half of these songs appear on other Monochrome Set albums, from the title track to 1980's Strange Boutique to the 1985 single "Andiamo"), these are all alternate versions. They sound more like re-recordings than early demos, but the liner notes are mum as to when or where they were recorded. The El Records/Cherry Red catalog hints that this album was recorded and abandoned in 1985 as a psychedelic side project, but there is also the claim that the 1988 compilation Westminster Affair is the soundtrack to a French film, so veracity cannot be assumed. Mysterious provenance or not, What a Whopper! is a terrific album. The opening track, "Black Are the Flowers," makes excellent use of backwards guitars, and these versions of "Ten Don'ts for Honeymooners" and "Straits of Malacca" actually improve on the better-known renditions. ("Expresso" and "Goodbye Joe" are somewhat less successful than the original Strange Boutique versions, however.) The whole thing hangs together surprisingly well for an odds and sods collection, possibly bolstering the idea that it was all recorded at the same time. On the other hand, the songwriting credits span both the era of original guitarist Lester Square (Tom Hardy) and his replacement Foz (James Foster), making that unlikely. Whatever, it's a goodie.

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