"You and the City Light" Review By Tomatrax
CD Review: Rock Monahan - You and the City Lights
Current mood: 4.5 Tomatoes
This is the debut release from this promising new 5 piece from Maryland. Rock Monahan have put a lot of different sounds into the mix when compiling this record. There are elements of hazy shoegazing music that Ride used to produce, some early distorted grunge sounds reminiscent of what Sonic Youth have done and some dirty punk-rock elements similar to what the Clash used to do. Above all though the band is trying all sorts of sounds and effects to come up with their own sound and they pull it off well. The album moves around a fair bit from being fast paced and loud to being slow, laid back and subdued however it all fits together with the vibe easing its way around. In addition to this Ian Wilsons vocals are able to adapt to complement the style of each song.
The album opens with The Spark, which shows a mix of grunge and shoegazing elements toped with a high yelp from vocalist Ian Wilson. 'Turn the lights off when you leave', is a quiet slow paced piece led by an acoustic guitar and soft vocals. Remember me is in parts a melodic and laid back instrumental, consisting of slow guitar and bass lines. Underpaid Hands is a sweet, slow paced and atmospheric piece. Breakdown mixes a dark and deep piano with some psychedelic sound effects coming in and out of the sound. 'Something to look forward to' is a beautiful and infectious pop tune led with an acoustic guitar that would stand up strongly as a radio single. Mr Wilson is a 5 minute instrumental led with a surfy style guitar reminiscent of the Shadows and backed with an airy background. The title track is a 6 and a half-minute epic in which the band travel around musically trying out all sorts of sounds, speeds, and textures. The album closes with the heavy and layered piece; The Gardener which is reminiscent of the work Ride did in the early nineties.
This is a very solid and promising debut album from Rock Monahan that shows they are willing to experiment with their sound to come up with something new and interesting. This album is very much worth checking out if you like the shoegazing or grunge sounds that bands such as Ride, Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr have put out in the past. It will also be especially interesting to see where they take their sound from here on.