We open up with “2518” and essentially it acts as a foreword, setting the tone, setting the scene for the album going forward…amidst slow, sweeping synths, we get echoed vocals, very mechanical and cold, talking of a conflict between man and machine, set in the year of the song title…this is very SkyNet…is John Connor safe? I digress…It gives us a brief yet interesting intro, actually having a plot, instead of the overdone, purely instrumental opening track…before we’re met with first song proper; “Afterglow” and what a way to get this album going…this is some seriously slick techno-pop, at its core inspired by the likes of NEW ORDER…the beats and rhythm are so infectious…looped, bubbly keys, it’s spacey…the slightest touch of electronic guitar adding extra substance but not detracting from the feel of the song, a brilliant throwback pop track this, superb. The fun doesn’t stop there however, oh no…”A Thousand Years” once again channels all of that 80’s influence through the likes of ULTRAVOX and DURAN DURAN…Klayton’s vocals are so smooth over this up-beat, percussive piece…it’s incredibly vibrant and catchy, the fade out works well and it’s simply a wonderfully retro track, really well done, likewise with “The Veil”….again utilising more guitar, it’s got a feeling of A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS to it and it’s a brilliant piece of alt. pop, Klayton is on top form here it has to be said.
The fun doesn’t stop there either…as fairly early on we’re treated to an incredibly brave cover…”Thriller” by MICHAEL JACKSON…but in all fairness it’s done a level of justice here that has to be appreciated…while it IS missing the legendary Vincent Price monologue, the intro here instead is more befitting of an 80’s slasher flick…remember when Friday The 13th Part 3 had that funky disco/synth intro? More akin to that…it’s a classic and few can match the pop credentials of Jackson but this is done well overall…and while on the topic of pop-culture, he’s only gone and included a synth cover of “The Force Theme” from STAR WARS too…the iconic film score gets a new lease of life and it sounds so lively but no less dramatic, your inner nerd will want to swing your lightsaber to your heart’s content, and that’s not a metaphor I promise! There are other instrumentals here such as “Oblivia” and “Searching For A Lost Horizon” but they can’t match this by default…essentially what we have here, is Klayton taking all that was good from the debut and giving it an upgrade…it’s odd that an album with such vibrancy and character would be called monochrome…while yes, it is of one style and era, it’s such a colourful genre to begin with, this record is full of life, it's brilliant...mark my words, we’ll still be listening to this in the year 2518…