Passion and complexity
Debut album “Call Me Dragon” from the experimental/progressive/post-rock four piece is a brillant blend of excellent melodies, chunky riffs, quirky saxophone licks and solid vocals. Opener ‘Call Me Dragon’ sets things up nicely; breaking in with a cacophonous, jangly guitar then quickly bringing in a lovely sounding, rich bass with the saxophone trilling away in the background adding depth and spoken-style vocals breaking through here and there. It is a superb opening track; warm and off kilter with such a skilfully put together mix of melody and post-rock jagged noise that it literally stops you in your tracks.
Incredibly the band continues this level of excellence throughout the album with track after track of inventive and totally engaging music. Take 8 minute epic ‘Dirty Messages’ with nothing but the odd vocal scream injected into the barrage of riffs and washes of synth and sax; comparisons to These Arms Are Snakes, Envy and Godspeed You! Black Emperor come to mind but these aren’t really sufficient to describe their distinctive and inventive sound. ‘Who Is This Tall Sick Man’ again displays a talent for juxtaposing comfortable major key riffs with nasty minors and the sax is used really well, following the guitar at the most tuneful moments to emphasise the melody.
These Monsters have created a stunning album, one that sounds far more mature and accomplished than a debut should, it is heavy, intense, comforting, brooding, filled with layers and technically very impressive; there is complexity in every aspect of the musicianship, not only the guitars and they often pull together awkward rhythms and key changes so easily that it sounds far more simple than it probably is. Highly recommended.