From The Published Archives: New Disease

Let’s go back 10 years in time.  It was my last year in college and I was still submitting pieces to the student newspaper, The Satellite.  I pretty much stopped writing movie reviews and instead concentrated entirely on assessing the latest CDs.  This all started in 1995 when I decided to mix things up and focus on more than one type of entertainment.
 
My last published piece for The Satellite was this very short assessment of the debut album by the long-forgotten California trio, 1000 Mona Lisas.  They got famous in 1995 for doing a punky cover of Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know which is very good.  That was a mystery track on their debut release which was called The EP.  It surfaced only a couple of months after Alanis’ Jagged Little Pill album, making it all the more amazing. 
 
In February 1996, they issued their debut album, New Disease.  My review of the album was published March 26, 1996 on page 13.  I gave the album 2 and a half stars out of 5. 
 
As far as I know, the band never released another record.  A few months ago, I remember seeing a discounted copy of New Disease at Sunrise Records.  (It was in the 2 for 10 dollar section.)  I wonder what happened to those guys.  They had some good songs.
 
One change has been made due to an editing error.  In the published review, the songs Wet and In The Red were unintentionally combined into one song called “Wet and In The Red”.   They are now distinguishable as two separate songs.  Other than that, this is exactly what ended up in the paper.  Enjoy.
 
 
NEW DISEASE
1000 MONA LISAS
 
By Dennis Earl
Special To The Satellite
 

“I’d Rather Die Than Have To Touch You.” “New Disease.” “Change & Decipher.” With song titles as interesting as these, you’d think the tunes they’re named after would be equally as engaging.

Unfortunately, New Disease, the debut offering from 1000 Mona Lisas, is uneven and lacking in consistency. I liked 7 songs off the album. The other 8 are just filler. It’s too bad because this is a good band who place great emphasis on their explicit lyrics. They have plenty to say about religion, war, governments and relationships but they need to improve musically.

This punk trio, who hail from Studio City, California (yes, that’s where The Price Is Right is taped), certainly don’t waste any time on this album. 5 1/2 minutes clip by and you’re already hooked by the band’s go-for-broke musical style after only 3 songs. Those three tracks are easily the most entertaining off the whole album (which is over in about 35 minutes). Dog is all about TV religion and the hypocrisy of its leaders. Here’s a sample of the lyrics: “Avid shithead preacher/is explaining his new truth/to the cable TV dunces/and so I feel so removed/the gravitating moralists/they’re tugging at my flesh/vomiting ideas/it’s so very Christianesque.”  Compelling stuff. And those other two songs, Maybe It’s All Forgotten and New Disease, are as serious as the band’s genuine intentions to produce entertaining music.

The tone of the album continues to get bleaker within every passing moment. There’s a track called “How Would You Know?” (also off “The EP” from last year) and it condemns those who lose themselves to narcotics: “A perfect day for a funeral/it charms me like the hole inside your head/I’m sick of losing friends to heroin and other traces.” Then, the album loses steam and the rest of the material, excluding “Vile Of Blue”, “Wet” and “In The Red”, is unworthy of multiple listenings.

The album ends most disappointingly with a hidden cover of Paul McCartney’s “Jet.” Personally, this band’s cover of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” (a hidden cover from “The EP”) was far better than this disposable track. So, let’s conclude. 7 good songs, 8 bad ones. You know what that means, kids. Yep, a mixed review.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, April 6, 2006
2:42 p.m.

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Published in: on April 6, 2006 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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