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- OCTOPUS SYNG – HOLLOW GHOST/ROCHELLE SALT (Mega Do...
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- MONARCH – TWO ISLES (El Paraiso Records LP, CD).
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Wednesday, 22 June 2016
MONARCH – TWO ISLES (El Paraiso Records LP, CD).
Monarch’s line-up features three guitarists with powerful, supple drumming and lithe bass playing holding down the bottom end……………..guitars twist and intertwine, soaring and spiralling in a mad dance with the players swapping lead lines, executing jazzy runs and soloing like a demon, all with an air of supreme musicianship, while the tight as you like rhythm section underpin the whole thing with verve and precision. It’s music from an era where complex time signatures, intricate song structures and virtuoso playing was celebrated and not frowned at. Kicking off with a flurry of Prog Jazz before easing into a blissed out swirl of guitars, the album’s title track encompasses what Monarch are about……there are elements of the classic West Coast vibe of Quicksilver Messenger Service mixed with the newer sounds of bands like the Allah Las, all intermingling with a 70s style display of breath-taking musical dexterity. This combination of the old merging with new continues with other tunes such as the hazy, mellow ‘Hundreds, Thousands, Millions’ and ‘Dancers of The Sun’ with the truly brilliant ‘Assent’ not sounding out of place next to the best Sleepy Sun songs. Monarch seriously get their Prog on with the final two tracks on the album………’Sedna’s Fervor’ and the epic ‘Shady Maiden’ are a riot of sparkling guitars, tempo changes, Moog washes, jazzy bass lines and powerful, intricate drumming which has the feel of Neil Young & Crazy Horse jamming with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. It’s Prog Rock alright…………………but with a warmth that you would not normally associate with the genre and it's about mood and texture as much as it's about anything else. Blending classic genres with a modern sensibility, Two Isles is an imperious debut from a thrilling new band and well worth checking out for both suburban Prog Heads and bedroom Psychedelicists alike.
Two Isles is another quality release from El Paraiso Records and is due to hit the shops and usual outlets at the end of July. Available on Red/Green blended vinyl and CD, pre-orders are being taken now at the El Paraiso web store now.