You don’t always have to look like a rockstar to sound like a rockstar these days, but I don’t think anyone told that to Dayton Ohio’s Mona. Punk rockers, greasers, and hipster wannabes alike have to respect Mona’s ability to don the hell out of the leather jacket, white t-shirt and wayfarer sunglasses look, as their 90’s-esque punk swagger is an art somewhat lost over the past decade and a half. These Ohioans ability to bring gritty punk-rock style into a punk-depleted world is refreshing to say the least. Their sound isn’t as purely punk-ish as the genre’s staple bands that initially come to mind (Blink, Sum 41, etc.), but the contemporary tinge gives the band a sense of rock modernity that works well in the grand scheme.

“Lean Into The Fall” is a prime example of the power that strong percussion has to flip the character of a song on its head. Mona starts off by lulling the crowd into a false sense of subdued comfort during the first 30 seconds of light guitar oscillations. Drummer Vince Gard then seems to recognize the assuaged crowd, thusly taking the reigns with an increased blast of rhythm, continuous intensity, and quadrupled BPM. Oddly enough, almost nothing else changes during the rest of the song with the supporting instrumentals and vocal style, but that percussive shift brings a sense of fist-clenching power that keeps the song’s energy high and its experience exhilarating. The final 30 seconds put “the fall” in “Lean Into The Fall”, as the crowd-surfing, strained yelling, and collectively emotive reverie molds the band and crowd into one communally purgative populace looking to emotionally collapse together in a moment of authentic release.

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