Author Archives: ryanHLrobinson
Heartbreaks are easily spotted when sung in a baritone. Matt Berninger and Ian Curtis have proven this theory time and time again. Both Joy Division and The National cover a lot of topics in their musical discographies, but isolation, loneliness, and heartbreak are the reoccurring theme. Michael Cullen is another name to add to the list, with a title that rolls of the tip of the tongue. The Australian singer-songwriter brings aboard his New Order style synthpop and combines it with a bleak outlook on personal topics. It’s a great way to have an insider view on the intimate topics that Cullen is expressing.
Although his album, Love Transmitter, was originally released in 2012, it takes new life with a remastered copy after critical acclaim in his home country. Heralding itself with a terrible album cover (don’t judge it), it opens with the wonderfully titled, “Do You Believe?”, which had me thinking he was covering a Flaming Lips track. This is the complete opposite. His apparent love for the boiling drum beats that grind out the entire song is shown here. It lays the blueprint for the wonderfully crafted tune. The sharp, but sad synth keys trickle like icicles into Cullen’s crooning voice.
The song is followed by a shift in pace with “Tidal Wave”, which caught me off guard with how low Cullen’s voice can reach. He pulls out his darkest ego and punishes the listener with a wispy side until he reaches the chorus. Lyrically, the song is pretty bland, but the striking, Interpol style guitars are incredible. “All Used Up” seems to have soft, blast-beats opening the track, which works it’s way into a steady downward spiral of noise. Cullen finds ways to take miserable noise and transform it into a memorable tune that I find myself falling back too.
It’s no wonder this album has won many accolades with the indie community in Australia. Michael Cullen and fellow musician, Tim Powles, control space like it’s in the palm of their hand. They shift from an in-your-face bruiser of a song into a soft and somber tune like, “Hey Sister”. Every shift in keys present a new emotion that only music presents. Arms spread wide, and eyes closed, this is how the track is supposed to be listened too. “Transmission”, which isn’t a Joy Division cover, seems appropriately titled due to the related sound to the band. I find that when Cullen goes for the high notes, it flows better with the spashing guitar and brittle drums. His music has a very deep sound and the handshakes of approval should go to Tim Powles’ help with instrumentation. The duo just kills it as musicians.
What makes my job incredible is when I’m presented with musicians like this that people need to hear. Love Transmitter is a find that makes me smile, even when the dark theme drains any happiness from my head. It’s knowing that I’m only going to enjoy every sound on this album. Combining the Gothic tones on “Chinese Hammer”, and the spoken word sections on “Spill”, Michael Cullen transitions ahead and keeps this ride entertaining.
Then there’s, “Professional Entertainers”, which is the best song I’ve heard in ages. It’s contrasting joyful tones and brutally depressing lyrics keeps me pressing repeat. Perfectly timed at just under three minutes, this is a song that needs to rock the airwaves. “One Is Still My Number” is the one track that I couldn’t dig on my first listen. It felt too thrown together and tacky. When it drives into the chorus, that’s when I was convinced that I enjoyed it. It’s the best song-writing on the album though. Michael Cullen shines as a song-writer and musician. His ability to stay ahead of the curve and keep the 80′s goth rock stylish really takes talent (Have you seen Robert Smith lately?). Love Transmitter is an album that requires a setting. It requires and mindset that brings out the worst, but it demands the listener to open up their mind. What it provides is a shoulder to lay on, with 10 solemn stories to hear while the tear-ducts are worked to death. It’s the best sadness I’ve ever felt.
Take a listen below!
At least once a week, Apostrophe by Frank Zappa is played in my perimeter. The weird, comedic vibes Zappa gives off on his most traditional blues rock album puts a smile on my face that I can’t seem to shake. It’s incredible put together, with songs flowing into one another like a Cirque du Soleil show. I wasn’t around when Zappa revolutionized rock and roll, but I have a strong feeling that he allowed the rules to be bent and humor and strangeness to be added to a genre like the blues. The history behind the creation of blues and blues rock is hard to forget, and we shouldn’t, but thanks to Zappa, we’ve been given an alternative style to look at without all the despair.
Now it’s been 40 years since Apostrophe has been released, but when I was given the New York-based Marla Mase to listen to, I had to have both playing at the same time. They both have the slightly ironic, intimate spoken-word sections, jacked up solos, and the band plays extremely tight behind the main leader. In this case, Marla Mase. The EP opens with “Drown in Blue”, a blazing and unforgiving opener that kicked me back in my seat. Don’t make the mistake of having the volume too loud for this one. A nod to Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth and British punk rock, this song is killer. What drags it down is Marla’s softer vocals that collide with the angry, resistant vocals on the chorus.
I was caught off guard when I heard the spoken word sections. They release so much emotion that sometimes are poetically imaginative and emotional, and at other times, ironic and passive aggressive. Nonetheless, they all have a true, deeper meaning behind the veil of words. Musically, this album is outstanding. “Half-Life” is absolutely beautiful, bringing me back to the days of female alternative rockers like Alanis Morissette and PJ Harvey. (On a side note, Alanis didn’t get enough credit for being a badass. She kicked ass in the 90′s.) The song is a highlight to me, and I really want to see Mase progress this side of her music. It’s captivating and magical. The backing instrumentation by the Tomás Doncker Band is sharp. all the subtle melodies stand out and are memorable.
Sadly, it’s followed up by the outrageous “Things That Scare Me”. It’s humorous, but that’s about it. The lyrics are cheap, and it’s trying to many different ideas without sticking to a main idea. The chorus flows out of place after it has it’s forced half-sung verses. “Try and diagnose me!”, that’s all I can really agree on with that song. “The Heart Beats” brings the same anger into light with better results. It’s slow, stranded, almost like words flowing out of Mase’s mouth walking across the Sahara. Loved it.
At just over 30 minutes, this EP flies by. It covers a lot of ground, from comedic, funky songs, to the serious, intimate side. “Gaping Hole” was one piece off from being an alternative rock standard. It has the homemade vibe that’s a must for any traction in the indie crowd, but it was missing stronger vocals from Mase. She’s showcased her ability on, “Drown in Blue”, and I was itching to hear it come alive again. Even the style on the reprise of “Drown in Blue” would’ve worked. Speaking of the reprise, keep it up. She truly has a talent for an intimate setting.
It’s followed by another funky tune, “Bitch in Heat”, featuring Charlie Funk, so it’s proven to be good. Finally, “Hold Fast Your Dreams” closes off this EP, and it’s also great. Like on the “Drown in Blue (Reprise)”, Marla Mase can control a listener with her soothing voice, spilling out poems that show a piece of true self. It’s no wonder she’s been recently signed to True Groove Records. I do believe Mase will have a promising career, as she’s shown her ability to control a large band and get the sound she wants, but this EP has it’s incredible ups and immense downs. Yes, I understand, it’s an EP showcasing her variety of talents, from poet, to singer, to angry civilian, but I can only say that Mase is a great alternative artist who rocks it on tracks like “Half Life”, or “Drown in Blue”, but when it comes to her trying to copy David Byrne from the Talking Heads, it feels forced. I’m excited to see her progress with a full length that we can expect to hear soon!
Be sure to give the EP a listen below!
Oh Salt Lake City. The bible belt of the United States, the freedom train down south, and the host of the 2002 Olympics. It’s also the home of Richard Tyler Epperson, a fresh faced singer-songwriter who has a knack for incredible hooks. He pulls his sound from Death Cab for Cutie to Kurt Vile. He releases his album, Hourglass, April 8th, and we’ve given it a spin.
Opening with the promising track, “I Know”, Epperson showcases his ability to control the exact sound from every instrument. Whether he had any input or not in the sound, it’s best to believe he wouldn’t allow a song forward unless he’s impressed by it. It takes the drumming of “Grapevine Fires” by Death Cab, and combines it with a unique, soft voice that Epperson’s been gifted with. His contrasting guitar tones kick in the chorus with a simple distorted chord section that plays nicely over top the modern rock tune. It’s a great tune to start the album.
Following that is the folk tune, “Hourglass”. It’s a simple, easy listening track that screams radio-friendly. Not the negative contour of radio-friendly, but a smart way to market music without selling out. This, in other words, will be his hit single. It’s catchy, fun, and cool. Slightly forgettable, but Epperson soft vocals keeps the track interesting. Other tracks have the same melancholy atmosphere that seems to be perfect in any season, like the incredible “Rain”, or the summery “The Life (Fall On Me)”. He knows his sound and he stretches and squeezes every little bit of creative energy out of the indie folk rag, which end up becoming these brilliant tracks.
What Richard Tyler Epperson does so well is controlling an intimate sound. Whether it’s one acoustic guitar and vocals or an entire orchestra lulling with wild notes, he understands how to connect with the listener emotionally. It’s when he experiments with sounds outside his range, like electronics on “Lights”, that feel forced. If he brought the sound down, and took away the angsty vocals would I be able to get on board. I have a Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz or Hannah Georgas sound in mind when I think of intimate electronics done right. Epperson is completely capable though.
It’s apparent that this man has a bright future. his songwriting isn’t ground breaking, but it’s consistent. He plays with melodies in such a fun way it’s hard to dislike these songs. Much like how Ty Segall brought back garage rock, Epperson can just as easily make indie folk cool again without it seeming cheesy. That’s what has become so sad about the genre. Everywhere I look there’s another self-proclaimed singer-songwriter wanting to sell me their bandcamp CD, but there’s nothing special about it.
How Epperson changes that is he adds a special ingredient that all special albums have. It’s a mixture of care and desire. If an album is made without the need for it to be made, it will be pushed aside with a majority of records released today. If it doesn’t have care, it’ll be considered a shitty homemade tape. I keep having the thought of Death Cab For Cutie’s Plans whenever I hear Hourglass. That and a little bit of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. Those two albums have a special sound to them, one that keeps a listener hooked for years. Epperson has a hint of sound about him. “Where Are We” and “Blind My Life” both carry structures to an arguably timeless album.
Where Epperson falters is creating a lasting impression. These 14 songs have so much substance to them that indulging in everyone is a chore. If cut back by two or three tracks, I would gladly dive into everyone (minus “Around We Go”, I felt the chorus was too careless for me). Nevertheless, I’m Richard Tyler Epperson’s newest fan. He’s somebody who has a natural talent for writing magically simple songs without sounding redundant and boring. Among all the throwaway bands of today, (Mumford & Songs, The Lumineers, Of Monsters & Men); they should give Hourglass a listen and use it as a guide to create consistent music. Richard Tyler Epperson shows them all up with his need to create music.
Listen to Hourglass in full below
I’ve never traveled to the Midwest. I guess it could be said that I would love to take a chance to explore it in the future. I’ve only experienced it through music from 90′s emo bands like American Football or Cap’n Jazz. What has defined the area to me is their constant output of strained albums, trying to put a label on the area as a whole. From my out of body experience through these musicians, I feel like it could be somewhere to raise a small family, get a common job, and blend in with the crowd. Once the likes of Red House Painters showed up, they spun the entire area on it’s head, consistently releasing music that thematically contrasts the angsty vibes of the early emo bands, changing my opinion of the Midwest from, “Meh, it seems same old,” to, “You can’t pay me to visit”. Although lead member, Mark Kozelek, of Red House Painters never directly mentioned in his music how brutally depressing the area is, he used a large portion of symbolism to showcase the strong emotions he felt growing up in Ohio.
Now it could also be mentioned that everyone has a love-hate relationship with their hometown. It became quite apparent when he started his other group, Sun Kil Moon. The project is noticeably bleaker than before in different ways. His song-writing is a completely upfront, gruesome and raw image of what he needs to release from his system. Since the release of his newest album, Benji, I’ve struggled with connecting with his song-writing. It’s extreme, close to heart imagery is hard to put in relations with how I feel about the subject he discusses. Kozelek releases all his creative energy into a dark and depressing outlook on every possible subject he touches on.
Everyone of these 11 tracks are extended and stretched to the emotional barrier for the listener. “Truck Driver” is a track that tells the story of Kozelek’s redneck uncle, who died in a fire, and the funeral he sadly had to witness. It’s described perfectly through his first person view, “It was stormy that day / the sky was deep purple. /And babies were crying / Kentucky Fried Chicken was served. /And that’s how he would have wanted it I’m sure.” The raw portrayal of the life he had seems distant to me. Possible to some it makes sense, but I can’t find words to connect myself with the story. It’s what Kozelek intends for the most part.
The distance between instrumentation and listener is slim. What I mean is that Kozelek does such a great job of keeping the intimate moments intimate and the slightly less moments slightly less intimate. Every word spoken feels from heart, and every bang of the drum or strum of guitar, or even blow of a trumpet note feels placed for a reason. “Pray For Newton” keeps up with the relevance of Kozelek, expressing his utter disgust for the helpless reactions of Americans during the tragic shooting. It’s difficult to turn on the track, as I feel convicted sitting through his lyrics. The friendliest track, “Ben’s My Friend”, derives itself slightly from original Modest Mouse (The band actually was influenced by early Red House Painters), but a “Cowboy Dan” melody works itself in coincidentally. It’s ironic third-person writing throws off the bleak and saddening atmosphere that was found in the album, but as a closer it’s very original. Kozelek isn’t all sad faces, as he shows his genius and open-mindedness, using a horn section to add to the overall volume of the track.
It’s sad, hearing this album on a quiet Tuesday night, trying to find words to convey my opinion of such a subjective album. I wish I could say it’s simply a folk album, but then I would be lying. I’ve been haunted by these songs since I first heard it. I blew it off my first few listens, as I didn’t let the storytelling sink in. Once I sat into a routine with these tracks, I felt my heart shrivel and die. Kozelek knows how to kill and happiness found in the body with a gut-punching choice of words. He’s an incredible songwriter, probably one of the most talented in our generation. Every time I see a photo of him I feel like I need to give him a hug and tell him everything will be okay, but I’m worried he’d find a way to make the hug a sign of depression, forcing more despair into my lungs. Benji is overwhelming, hard to relate too, but it’s a story that should be heard.
Let me clear the air before I jump right into the review, I DO NOT CARE about the whole Laura Jane Grace news. I give her my full support to be a voice for a group of people who don’t seem to have one. The transgender community has been given a leader, and being the front(wo)man of a punk rock band takes guts. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is the sixth studio album released by the Florida punk-rock band, and the first since Laura’s public announcement of being a transgender.
How does it play into the music? For starters, it fuels the entire theme, which follows the overarching story of transgender woman. Some of the lyrics on this album are crushingly impacting. They last like a bullet to the brain, etched into the frontal lobe (or whatever part stores information) for future dwelling. The opening title track has a line that really captures the thoughts of somebody struggling with this situation. A way we can learn about Laura’s struggles is by listening to her experiences, and the lines of, “You want them to see you / Like they see any other girl,” blew me away. That would pass up as just another line for other songs, but the theme of ‘transgender struggles’ puts these simple phrases into powerful messages.
I personally didn’t enjoy many of Against Me!’s past albums, but this one holds up. It’s crisp, aggressive, and meaningful. At just under 30 minutes, it flows like a typical Against Me! album, except it’s their best released. “FuckMyLife666″ sounds like an angsty, post-ironic tweet by a teenager, but it compels the message of giving up clearly. Plus it has a killer hook. Laura’s voice is better than ever, and the band has a whole new meaning to play.
These ten tracks flow like blips of transcendental emotions. Since picking up this album, I’ve played it about 12 times already, partially due to it’s length, but mostly due to it’s ineffectiveness to stick with me. That’s a lie. It did stick with me, and in fact I was drawn to play it over and over because it felt needed to be heard. I would describe this album as a soundtrack for many 16 year old finding themselves, but also many adults who grew up on the 90′s Offspring and Blink-182 kick. I only realized how heavy it was once I showed my buddy “True Trans Soul Rebel”. These tracks are heavy, so be prepared.
Against Me! did it. They’ve finally released something that pleased me. I almost passed up this album, because the past five albums didn’t do anything for me. I don’t know why this time it worked. Maybe it’s the emotion and power they put into this. Maybe I hate Jay Weingberg and was glad when he left. Maybe it’s that it’s kick ass and should be given a chance. Either way, Transgender Dysphoria Blues has the real punk rock sound that deserves to be played over and over in the car. And no, I’m not going to Pitchfork this review, it deserves a BNM.
Whenever I think about the future, I will think about what will still be thought about 10, 20, 30 years into the future. All our fads, all our styles, all our words, how much will be used? I tend to combine that with the thought that if a famous celebrity would be around today, would they be famous? I’ve heard the question that if The Beatles were brought into today’s society, would they be as famous? Obviously not, because a lot of today’s music is influenced by the Fab Four. Taking them away from the 60′s would forever impact rock music, leaving a whole in everyone who found influence in them. A weird paradox so to speak. It’s logical to think they’d adapt though. They wouldn’t have the simple “la-di-da” melodies and covers of the 50′s, but presumably they would add more effects. That’s what every musician seems to have today, right? Music is all about survival of the fittest. To stand the test of time, you need to create the sound that defines the generation.
Now the question is: what is that sound? We don’t want to sound like others, so how to do we go about being ourselves? For starters, don’t listen to others. Now that’s just brutal advice, so I’m going to stop there and talk about our latest band, Gumshen. The Seattle group combines elements of progressive rock and the popular indie standards that run the radio-waves. To start, they’re extremely catchy and fun. I opened up the link, reading the title Progtronica, and let out an extremely audible grown. How could anyone with common sense want to have this title on their hard-worked album. Well, it makes complete sense. They do mix electronic music very well progressive rock. I’ve only heard King Crimson try this on their album Discipline. No comment on how that turned out…
It seems Gumshen have learned from others mistakes. “Bell Ringer” opens the album with a jumpy synth riff over top a talented vocal section that reminds me Christmas music. It’s melancholic textures and poppy bass soothes me to tune out to the 7 minute track. It also has a killer guitar solo that finds its way fitting perfectly over the same stellar drum beat. The amount of spelling errors I’ve made so far is countless, considering I keep jamming out in my chair typing this. “Stipulation” just screams 90′s summery pop. It’s extremely nostalgic, but I hear the same sounds that were found in Wonderous Bughouse (Youth Lagoon’s 2013 album). The one line is probably the truest lyric I’ve heard in ages (“Turning 20 dollars into 20 dimes”). I feel you Gumshen.
These guys are incredible in sync with one another. They find ways to turn their sugary pop riffs into timeless progressive jams. Not to mention they jump from a summery anthem into a jazz club soundtrack with the switch of a keyboard sound. Tricks like that is what keeps a band going. Now Progtronica is only six songs, but it spans just over 30 minutes, but I’ve never been a good mathematician. Now five of these tracks stand out, with the exception of “Fine One to Talk Too”. It comes across as a Porcupine Tree B-side, which is still impressive, but doesn’t fit the overall theme of the album. I’d love to hear that sort of swaying, arena-rock goodness on an entire release, but when it’s stuck in the middle of keyboard driven release, it throws off the mood.
“Liquid” is sweet. It opens sounding like a soundtrack to my childhood, slowly blending into a determined, caricature of the riff. When I first threw on this album, I wasn’t a fan of Ron Hippe’s sly vocals, but like Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan, he soon became the only voice in my head. He has a signature style that stands out. His little sarcastic quips of vocals, followed by a strong string of Axl Rose impressions fits the band’s style greatly. He puts care into his vocals, which I admire.
This album closes off with the definition of the album title. “Fragile We Are Castles” is like a mixture of Ratatat and Dark Side Of The Moon Pink Floyd (IMAGINE THAT). It’s spacey, gigantic, and plain gorgeous. Over an 8 minute length, they jump to about five styles of progressive music, ranging from jamming to syncopated, tight staccatos of notes. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much on a first listen, but I was drawn to hearing more from Gumshen. Although a little cheesy and weak at times (“Bait & Switch”). These guys know what sound they want, and just go for it. I can respect that, and for their efforts they’ve released an album that exemplifies their determination to stay alive in the dog-eat-dog world on music.
Never in my life have I heard of a band that has lasted almost double the life span of a human. New Mongrols is an Americana-Folk band that has been around for 148 years, and has had their characteristics passed from generation to generation like a sacred token of family pride. Their roots began with the 17-year old American Civil War veteran, Henry Brooke. He started the Mongrels as a group to sing Psalms in their own improvised melodies, which is pretty sweet hearing that on it’s own. Now brought to life as The New Mongrels, Raised Incorruptible is the resurrection of Henry Brooke’s timeless group.
Haynes Brooke, who I suspect is the direct relative, is the mastermind behind this project. With input from other Mongrel relatives, he was able to get permission to bring some lo-fi demos to life. The album opens up with “Time”, a straight forward, but vintage sounding folk-rock track that has the eerie but soothing sounds of the original group floating around It’s pretty bleak, but connecting atmosphere. “Love It Madly” is a stripped down, old time folk song with a twist. It’s melodically contemporary, but the instrumentation is what would be heard from the original Mongrels. To me, it’s weird to think that this group is still running with a same style from 1861.
The melodies on this album are incredible. The chorus of “Raised Incorruptible” puts any other folk artist to shame. The indie scene of today is filled with mock-ups of musicians trying to recreate an old sound, but The New Mongrels have created a vintage sound that doesn’t feel like a copycat. Whether this album was released in 2014 or 1967, they feel fresh but stylistically old fashion. Now that doesn’t go without saying some tracks feel transitions to other monstrous songs. “Gentle” is the definition of dynamic. Comparable to The Lumineer’s track “Submarines”, they use the drums sparsely to create the crescendo, and I wish they continued on with it more.
It’s easy to tell how hands on this group is with their music. They grow from a simple folk riff and lyrics into a orchestrated performance. I can see these tracks being exactly like they are on this album live, considering everything is on cue perfectly. The pride they take in their music does down to the quiet little horn melodies floating behind all the subtle strumming. “Freedom” brings the Jack Nitzsche production style to life that only can be heard on albums like Neil Young’s Harvest. It’s beautiful.
Although Harvest wasn’t liked by many folk artists at the time for it’s over the top production, it’s gone to influence many of today’s indie-folk style. Surprisingly, I don’t find Raised Incorruptible as another Harvest rip off. It doesn’t feel like a cover like other albums released today. Tracks like “Dogs and Kings” bring the sound from years ago into today’s culture very accurately. “Seems” is the only song that feels influenced from other artists heavily, and damn it’s great. Vocally, it’s perfect, and I can see it as the soundtrack to a lonely bar in Midwest USA. Just beautiful.
The New Mongrels had a goal of recreating and continuing the progression of Henry Brooke’s original Mongrels. They wanted to bring the past to life in today’s clustered folk scene of ripoff Young’s and Dylan’s and the odd Springsteen’s. They stick to their own style, and find ways to keep the redundant genre fresh with beautiful instrumentation of horns and strings, and the back-beat of drums behind the standout singing. It’s no wonder they want to keep the tradition alive. Did I also mention the group has 4 dogs as members of the band?
There’s something special about watching the recent generation of band’s influence what becomes major radio hits. You can already see it with groups like The Black Keys, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, and The White Stripes. Arguably the biggest influences in today’s modern radio friendly music is two groups. One being Muse, and the other being Radiohead. Muse has dominated the charts since the release of the 2001 hit Origin Of Symmetry, and Radiohead has been many music critics star-child since the release of the 1995 album, The Bends.
Monks Of Mellonwah are a four piece alternative rock group out of Sydney, Australia. They draw hugely from the epic band Muse for inspiration, and it’s noticeable within the first notes of their debut album, Turn The People. Appropriately, they’re signed to the same label (A&R Worldwide), which also has the right to say Coldplay is on it as well. Monks of Mellonwah (The Monks) are also riding on some massive hype. They’ve been named the ‘Best International Rock Band’ at the LA and AIM awards. That’s pretty impressive considering they haven’t even released their debut yet.
Now to get to the point, they’re a polished, ultra talented rock band that is going to be the next radio rock creation. It’s just imminent. I personally don’t find myself loving much of this style, partially due to it’s inability to experiment with sound the way an underground act could. That being said, The Monks find ways to control the amount of predictability in their sound. The first full track, “Ghost Stories” draws from many different styles; indie-rock, 90′s alternative, and even the newer styles comparable to the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. It’s a pretty flat opener, and the lyrics of, “Turning and burning the apple falls so far from the tree / I cannot take it’s burning a flame inside of me,” makes me cringe every time it’s sung with so much pride.
I cannot emphasize enough how much this group feels like Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers joined Muse. It’s a great idea in mind, but combined, it doesn’t feel very inspired. “Vanity” is a forgettable attempt at having the twinkly guitar contrast to the hard hitting drums, much like the RHCP single, “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”. I can get on board to the distorted riffing and aggressive crash cymbal beats, but besides that on multiple listens this album slipped out of my mind.
Two tracks I really enjoyed were “Pulse”, and “Tear Your Heart Apart”, with the second being an exact replica of the many signature styles of Muse combined into one track that does float pretty well compared to others on the album. “Pulse” is a track that doesn’t sound like a copy cat to their influences, and instead they be themselves which I admire. It’s floating synth opener is a great start to when the tricked out bass line drives with the solid 4/4 bass drum. Not to mention Vikram Kaushik’s vocals star here showing his diversity in skill reaching the high notes and following them with a great vibrato. My favourite off the album.
Monks Of Mellonwah have talent, there’s no denying that. They also have wonderful chemistry and monster potential. It’s easy to see why they’re already winning awards around the world, but their debut still feels like a professional cover band. The group hasn’t found their own sound yet, and rely on mocking other arena rockers to hopefully get to their level. “Sailing Stones” is one of the cheesiest tracks I’ve heard, and that alone would push me to turn off the album. It’s careless musicianship like this that ruins a band. The upside is that it sells records, which is a success in another way. Now I want everyone to turn on the final 30 seconds of “Pulse” and tell me what could have been for Turn The People. It’s an amazing song that makes me want more, just not more of what they offered.