With more flavours than a Cornish ice cream parlour and twists than a snow boarder on an Olympic half pipe, the debut album from French rock band Monstre is a startling and scintillating beast of a release. The self-titled ten track encounter challenges and treats the senses from the first second, a constantly evolving mix of metal and rock in numerous guises all colluding to infest the imagination and passions. With a suggested depth of potential that is still to be fully untapped by the band as their album thoroughly captivates and thrills from start to finish, Monstre is one of the most exciting propositions to tantalise the ears in recent years.
The creation of Toulouse duo King Pilo (vocals/guitar/bass) and Seb (drums/backing vocals); the album was recorded in November of 2013 at the Meskine Records Studio with its release at the start of this year. List your favourite metal and rock styles and most likely Monstre will be employing their essences in the multi-faceted and voraciously inventive release. More unpredictable than an orgy in the dark and just as rabidly enterprising, the album works on the primal and creative wants of all with a rhythmic alchemy which leaves you exhausted and drooling alongside a sonic kaleidoscope of ingenuity which simply dazzles and enthrals.
The album opens with Obey, the jaws of bass an instant intimidation on thoughts as the guitar lays a slow glaze of causticity over the senses. With vocal harmonies grazing air as expressively as the stalking sounds, the track subsequently expels a sludge toned weight and intensity on its recipient. Whilst circling and probing emotions with its lumbering and incisive predation, the track’s lyrical incitement as across most songs is a minimal but equally imposing and effective lure helping create a towering entrance for the release.
The following Green Fish not only builds on its predecessor’s presence but thrusts the album to new heights with its fusion of noise and psyche rock aligned to menacing alternative metal. As in the first the bass has an irresistible savagery which immediately sets the passions beaming, but it is just part of the wonderfully toxic bait building a web of virulence. There is an early Killing Joke potency to the song but also slithers of invention which suggest bands like Melvins and Faith No More has added spice to the band’s artistically informative years. The track is a glorious slice of intrigue and adventure for the imagination, a tantalising and chilled enticement soon matched by the instrumental Mother. Revisiting a sludgy textured prowl with that metallic snarl of the bass and equally ravenous riffery amidst a sonic voracity, the track is an epidemic of rhythmic seduction and inventive endeavour.
Both Prick and Less taunt and light up the ears, the first coating everything from rhythms and riffs to vocals and sonic weaves in a rapacious breath. The guitars scythe and sculpt a riveting maze of provocative ideas and textures whilst the bass scowls and leans heavily on the senses as the drums pummel their tender flesh. It is an absorbing and incendiary mix offering a Gang Of Four compulsion and Fugazi liking attitude and combativeness. Its successor provides eight minutes of cantering sonic hostility and rampant incessant rhythmic incitement, the track’s first half an instrumental taking of the imagination and its latter stretch providing a great vocal enticement and grunge bred expression to the relentlessly anthemic charge of rhythms. Both songs are formidably imposing and irrepressibly magnetic upon thoughts and emotions continuing the impressive stance of the album.
Drunk blends a grunge and stoner persuasion into its hungry design, a Nirvana kiss smooching in some of the song’s punkier moments whilst the following What U Say takes that same punk essence and immerses it in a more hard rock brawl with again a Gang of Four post punk tempting. Without strolling along the same plateaus as set by previous songs, both tracks providing a healthy feeding for a greedy appetite before Song One thrusts its muscular and sonic grunge/rock swagger through the ear for another contagious trap for the passions.
The album is brought to a close by firstly the niggling pressure and charm of Nothing, a track with a provoking adventure and inventive voracity which reminds of Wire at their most transfixing, and lastly by the persistently shifting Welcome, a song which between a top and tailing Middle Eastern seduction which is very similar to that of The Cure’s Killing An Arab, immerses the ears in every essence of sound it can conjure for a fluid and inspiring soundscape of incisive metal and heavily boned rock ‘n’ roll. The pair of tracks impressively concludes a tremendous album and introduction to Monstre, a band with all the imagination and flare to rise into the strongest spotlight. The anticipation of that is full and sure whilst pleasure now is fat and bloated on the excellence of Monstre.
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