Live Review from Underground 62:
Any band kicking off an opening song with fiercely strummed bass chords has to have something going for it. The kind of sound I like too – loud enough, frequent changes of gear, and plenty of space between the notes.
Contrasting with the opener, song two was heralded by the least energetic drumstick count ever. No matter, because Monogel performed compact little songs with energy and zest, coming primarily from singer Law Wai Yip, sporting an impressively Jarvis Cocker-like fringe and glasses combination. Without understanding the Cantonese lyrics, I could imagine each song commenting on various aspects of life, like chapters in a book that gets better as you get into it.
By the middle of the set, the band opened up a little, chancing a few three-part harmonies and even confidently throwing in some ba-ba-ba backing vocals. Confidence showed too in slowing the pace right down for the Zombie-like fourth number. Polished up in the studio, Monogel could almost be Britpop. Live, they were looser and louder.
Live Review from Underground 28:
I really liked Monogel. Their offbeat guitar riffs were intriguing and infectious, particularly in their song I am the One. And despite their lyrics being in Cantonese, I quickly found myself humming along to their catchy melodies and adroit harmonies. Damn, if only Canto-pop was this good! They had an obvious and confident presence from the start, despite a few hiccups along the way. Luckily the bassist did well to cover on the mic during their occasional technical problems with the drums, addressing the crowd in English and Cantonese. They also dedicated a song to late Canto-pop legend Leslie Cheung, which certainly excited their followers. If you like your pop-rock Cantonese, catch these guys live soon.