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Album Review: Ramona - Mornington Crescent Now Open

Indie-pop has slightly wained from the time when it used to top the charts everywhere in the world, and one is inclined to feel that it doesn't deserve the attention it used to anymore. Yet along come Ramona, a band that bears close resemblance to many of Fountains of Wayne's musical principles and tendencies. With their EP "Mornington Crescent Now Open", they unleash some decent poppy tunes, while never (ever) shying away from their obvious influences.

"Another Mouth To Feed" is literally an ode to Fountains Of Wayne's better days mixing slightly crunchy guitars with softly laden synth and some of the ever-so-slightly ironic tone of voice. It makes for a quick enjoyable ride of a song, even though it doesn't cover any new territory. "A Way Over" kicks in in similar fashion, all synths and crunchy guitars galore! (again) and sounds straight out of "Welcome Interstate Managers". In complete honesty, "This Heart Is Awake" fits into the same mold again, and the listener should be quickly sensing some kind of a pattern here. No doubt this is probably working for them, but a little versatility would be greatly appreciated.

Sadly "The One" feels like yet another attempt at, well, exactly the same thing. "Hanging On The Words" might feel like the necessary uninspired mellow song, but in this context, it feels like a breath of fresh air. The minimalism of the song's structure and instrumentalism works well with the soft voice of lead singer, making this the stand out track from an EP that otherwise never trespasses the three minute mark. "Kids In Tokyo" revels in the sameness of previous tracks, but the chorus and verses do feel more engaging and memorable than the other tracks on the EP.

If anything, this band should be given a miss for unoriginality alone, but "Hanging On The Words" and "Kids In Tokyo" does show signs of a better band with a more personal voice. However, at this point, this EP feels a tad pointless unless you haven't put down Fountains of Wayne since you were a teenager in 2003.


'Mornington Crescent Now Open' by Ramona is released on Pacific Ridge Records (US) and Engineer Records (UK) on April 25th.

Ramona on MySpace.

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!