If Manatees Had Trunks (

Monet.Madrid.Madagascar. will play the Vans Warped Tour next week, but don't let that give you the wrong impression. The Cleveland sextet isn't punk by a long shot. But the group is good enough that the powers that be gave them a shot -- which, in the shady business of rock, is rare and remarkable.

Monet.Madrid.Madagascar. takes its cue from the first word in its moniker. Its impressionist pop is more jazz than rock, and more blues than jazz. But the group still rocks -- albeit prettily. Like the completely inappropriately titled "John Wilkes Beatbox," most of the MMM's songs are the kind of atmospheric, ethereal lounge music that would sound best in an empty club, echoing in a smoky room. With an electric backbone and unplugged frame, the band even adds a touch of prog to swing numbers like the title cut. If Monet.Madrid.Madagascar. can team up with Xela for an acoustic show, they'll make the entire city shake.

More by D.X. Ferris


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