CD, Die Kraft durch Die Form Records, 2005
Not so much as an eye blinks when names like Joy Division and Bauhaus are mentioned in reference to Italian goth-industrial rockers La Mamoynia. Every darkwave, EBM, et al. project since can lay claim to the influence of early 80’s post-punk and gothic rock. Whether this sheds light as comparison or excuse, in the end La Mamoynia’s “Mono Ego” is an album with too many shortcomings to stand up to the scrutiny it invites.
The first alarm rings – not with the clichéd air raid sirens on “I Stand Alone,” however telling – when La Mamoynia touts its new approach to electro-EBM and gothic-throwback as employing live instruments. Two bass guitars, live drums and perhaps a paint bucket or sheet metal scrap later, and the band has not even left the station toward next stop Innovative, much less final disembarkation New. Now more than ever, melding combinations of traditional and digital instrumentation is all the rage across a wide spectrum of genres and tastes. This fusion, when accomplished well, is often a highlight in traditionally biased genres saturated with either techno bleeps or wailing guitars.
“Mono Ego,” with its sophomoric composition (“Nightmares I’m Hiding From”), substandard lyrics/vocals (“And Nothing More For You”) and muddy programming (“Ipocrisia”), carries with it the stigma of recycled while lacking the qualifier of talent. Though respectable in their aims of hybridization and revitalization, La Mamoynia must first realize putting a sharp edge on an established sound involves a little more than tossing a bass guitar and drum set at the effects processors and synths, or vice versa.
— Dutton Hauhart