Body Negative is the debut album from the post-punk inspired MNNQNS. The four-piece hail from Rouen, France where they all met. Together they have created a sound that falls closer to today’s indie rock and pop than the post-punk they define themselves as. For a debut album it works as an introduction to who MNNQNS are while not doing too much new.
The band say they dislike traditional rock ‘n’ roll and prefer more experimental music but this only shows itself in glimpses throughout the album. One of the featured tracks of the album is Desperation Moon which sounds exactly like every indie rock song from the last ten years. Fall Down (the other track to be warrant a video) sounds like the same vague indie rock tune that would have got lost in the sea of bands had it been released in 2010. The staccato guitars and short vocal range on these tracks are nothing new.
Which is strange because there are moments that suggest MNNQNS are better. Urinals tries to play with the same rhythms that are on each track by really hammering into the staccato repetition of the guitars. The vocals also come across more robotic here and the backing vocals work really well, mimicking the lead singer. Urinals is one of the more experimental tracks but still does not venture far from the safe indie sound.
Stagnant Pools is one of the best tracks on the album. As one of the slower songs it allows the band to express themselves without repeating the same guitar rhythm. The vocals stand out as some of the most melodic here with the backing rhythms finally demonstrating the band’s supposed inspiration from electronic and experimental music.
MNNQNS are a strange band. They say they hate rock ‘n’ roll yet they have created a by-numbers indie rock album. The inspiration of the Beatles and the Beach Boys pokes its head throughout and at times does sound really good. But the album fails to escape doing what’s been done a thousand times.