These Monsters - Call Me Dragon

Richard Wink 01/02/2010

Rating: 2/5

For some reason we are in the midst of a post-rock UK explosion. This could be down to a lack of suitable vocalists, or even a surplus of technically proficient musicians. Already in the last twelve months or so I've been impressed by the likes of Flies Are Spies From Hell and Maybeshewill, both of whom are advancing the genre into the 21st century and away from the old days of bloated, uninspired prog. There seem to be a movement thriving; intriguing instrumental metal is on the rise.

Coming from the vibrant Leeds scene These Monsters produce heavy handed saxophone boosted pyrotechnics, tighter then a Nun's special area the musicianship is spellbinding. Trouble is the album lacks variety. Essentially this is a forty minute slog, and for the listener a lesson in endurance rather than enjoyment. Heard one, you've heard em' all. That seems to apply here, and whilst it is a shame to be able to make such a blasé proclamation, it is the trait that puts many people off listening to post-rock. This might be nice background music for a spotty teenager shooting people in whatever first person shooter is currently en vogue on the Xbox 360, but for many this release is likely to frustrate.

Here's what I don't like, you have this hard to hear shriek in the background on a number of tracks, that sounds seriously like a overweight gentleman having an angina attack after scoffing one too many dishes of Rogan josh. It's disturbing, somebody going “aaaaaaaaaaah, argh argh aaaaaaaaaaah” it ruins the atmosphere. Then the sax, used sparsely its tolerable, but at times it seems like listening to Walter Parazaider (here) jamming with Tool on a King Crimson tribute album.

Loud, but lacking the sufficient innovation to stimulate interest. These Monsters frustrate on record, but it would be foolish to write them off completely until first catching them live.

Release date: 01/03/2010