monoblogue music: “Turn the People” by Monks of Mellonwah

March 15, 2014 · Posted in Music Reviews 

The Australian band's newest release came out March 7.

Coming from Australia, the band Monks of Mellonwah may not be a household name in the United States, but a solid debut release may help them gain popularity on this side of the Pacific. They’re promising a U.S. tour to back their new album, “Turn the People.”

But this newest release serves as somewhat of a compilation, as the 13 tracks were all released previously as part of three separate EPs: “Ghost Stories” came out last June, “Afraid to Die” in October, and “Pulse” in January. Adding to this element is the album’s production by two different people: several tracks were produced by the Grammy-winning veteran Keith Olsen, while others were credited to the band’s guitarist, Joe de la Hoyde. That veteran touch shows, as the tracks Olsen produced seem to be a little more listener-friendly, such as the haunting Ghost Stories and its instrumental intro, or the pop-influenced Vanity. Olsen also lent a hand on the keyboard-heavy Pulse and Escaping Alcatraz, along with the track I thought was the highlight, Downfall. Ghost Stories is featured in the video below, which came out with the original EP.

That’s not to say the de la Hoyde-produced songs are bad, though. While the lead single Tear Your Hate Apart and Afraid To Die are a tad on the ponderous side, as is the moody title track Turn The People, the guitar backdrop shines on Alive For A Minute and Sailing Stones seems to me to have the potential of being a great live song. As well, the final two tracks, the ballad I Belong To You and thematic Sky And The Dark Night – Part 2 – Control give the listener a good final impression of the band. (The original of Sky And The Dark Night was released in 2013 as an eight-minute cinematic EP trilogy.) The potential is there for production to improve with experience, particularly in utilizing some of the unusual outros on this album to advantage.

Fortunately, the arrangement of the tracks on the CD doesn’t follow the order of release, although three of the four original “Ghost Stories” tracks open the album. Songs from the other two EPs are scattered among the remaining ten, with the overall 13-song package coming in at a breezy 46 minute running time. The arrangement sets up the two most pop-friendly songs at the beginning (after the brief instrumental intro to Ghost Stories) with the following six tracks moving the compilation into more of a prog-rock feel before coming back with catchier tunes and the ballad to round out the album.

In their band bio, the group notes that:

The Monks of Mellonwah set out musically not to repeat past styles, yet rather to pave the future for alternative rock. In doing so, they take the preeminent sounds of 70s psychedelic rock and 90s alternative – and blend it into something fresh and new.

In a musical era where the sole goal of pop music seems to be one of competing to come up with the most compellingly annoying backbeat, a group which pays attention to the overall composition is rather refreshing. And while the songs don’t always hit the sweet spot, enough of them do to make this a compelling album worth purchasing if you’re into the progressive rock genre. While this band has picked up critical acclaim along the way, don’t take their word for it – or mine, for that matter. I encourage you to listen for yourself.

As I noted, the band is planning a American tour sometime in 2014, although dates have yet to be announced.

Comments

Comments are closed.

  • I haven't. Have you?
  • 2018 Election

    Election Day is November 6 for all of us. With the Maryland primary by us and a shorter widget, I’ll add the Delaware statewide federal offices (Congress and U.S. Senate) to the mix once their July 10 filing deadline is passed. Their primary is September 6.

    Maryland

    Governor

    Larry Hogan (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Shawn Quinn (Libertarian) – Facebook

    Ben Jealous (D) – Facebook Twitter

    Ian Schlakman (Green) Facebook Twitter

     

    U.S. Senate

    Tony Campbell (R) – Facebook Twitter

    Ben Cardin (D – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Arvin Vohra (Libertarian) – Facebook Twitter

    There are three independent candidates currently listed as seeking nomination via petition: Steve Gladstone, Michael Puskar, and Neal Simon. All have to have the requisite number of signatures in to the state BoE by August 6.

     

    U.S. Congress -1st District

    Andy Harris (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Jenica Martin (Libertarian) – Facebook Twitter

    Jesse Colvin (D) – Facebook Twitter

     

    State Senate – District 37

    Addie Eckardt (R – incumbent) – Facebook

    Holly Wright (D) – Facebook

     

    Delegate – District 37A

    Frank Cooke (R) – Facebook

    Sheree Sample-Hughes (D – incumbent) – Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 37B (elect 2)

    Chris Adams (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Johnny Mautz (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Dan O’Hare (D) – Facebook

     

    State Senate – District 38

    Mary Beth Carozza (R) – Facebook Twitter

    Jim Mathias (D – incumbent) Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38A

    Charles Otto (R – incumbent)

    Kirkland Hall, Sr. (D) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38B

    Carl Anderton, Jr. (R – incumbent) Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38C

    Wayne Hartman (R) – Facebook

     

    Delaware

     

    U.S. Senate

     

    Republican:

    Rob ArlettFacebook Twitter

    Roque de la FuenteFacebook Twitter

    Gene Truono, Jr. –  Facebook

     

    Libertarian (no primary, advances to General):

    Nadine Frost – Facebook

     

    Democrat:

    Tom Carper (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Kerri Evelyn HarrisFacebook Twitter

     

    Green (no primary, advances to General):

    Demitri Theodoropoulos

     

     

    Congress (at-large):

     

    Republican:

    Lee MurphyFacebook Twitter

    Scott Walker

     

    Democrat (no primary, advances to General):

    Lisa Blunt Rochester (D – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Link to Maryland Democratic Party

    In the interest of being fair and balanced, I provide this service to readers. But before you click on the picture below, just remember their message:

  • Part of the Politics in Stereo network.