Monday, October 22, 2012
Monks of Mellonwah - Neurogenesis EP
No idea where the band is coming from with their name, but I know exactly where they're going with their music. No way to get fancy here, I'm gonna cut to the chase. This is simply fantastic modern progressive rock in the vein of our own Fen, Muse or even Headspace. The title cut just bleeds melody, as if someone cut the jugular of the melody-holding God and let it spill like manna from heaven all over this track. The guitar tone fits somewhere right inbetween beautiful and rocking, so it can fit any mood; aggressive or pensive. I dig the singers voice too. Far too often this sort of modern rock gets ruined by overly-whinny or fey vocals. Not here. His voice is clean and pure, not too high-pitched or falsely heavy. Add in the harmony vocals of a song like "Neverending Spirit" and the vocal work here is simply sublime.
I must've listened to this EP 15 or 20 times by now and just can't find a flaw. Impeccably crafted, progressive pop and definitely deserving of a larger audience.
But don't take my word for it. The Monks are coming off their big win for "Best Indie Rock Artist" at the Artists in Music Awards 2012, and have been nominated for best International Artist by the LA Music Awards. Now, you know as well as I do that winning awards really has no bearing on the quality of the music, but it does here. Neurogeneis is chock full of "huge" sounding songs; songs that all build and reverberate, and soar and climax. Songs that provide a big payoff for the listener, whether in emotion, or power, or that stuck-to-the-brain chorus.
Top-flight musicianship, songwriting that is indelibly tight, melodies of grace and power, and enough muscle and chops to keep everything rooted in solid rock. A big future awaits these guys.