Review by Brendan Hourican
You might not have heard of the Monks of Mellonwah from Australia, but with a “Best International Rock Band” award from the LA music awards and the AIM music awards, you will be quite familiar with them in no time. Thanks to a fresh contract with A&R Worldwide, the Sydney quartet Monks of Mellonwah (MOM for short) will be taking over the States with their own brand of indie rock that emit the familiar pop qualities of early 2000’s radio rock acts such as Lenny Kravitz and the enthusiasm of English rock band The Subways.
The bands newest release, called Ghost Stories is only part one of a three part album Turn the People. In this digital age, releasing an album in three easily digestible parts, with the first part as hooky and catchy as “Ghost Stories,” might prove to be an exemplary strategy for bands on the rise. The release is comprised of four tracks, one instrumental introduction, and three rock songs rich with hooks, harmonies, crashing drums, and overdriven guitars. The songs exhibit qualities that you might expect from a band that has “Best International Rock Band” under their belt. Impressive instrumentation, tight songwriting, and clever riffs are present throughout the album, mixed with solid vocals and some pleasant surprises. The last few seconds of the title track “Ghost Stories” for example bring a creative twist to the song, as it lets loose with fast drums and guitar parts that are reminiscent of Muse.
The songwriting is interesting and keeps the listener invested in the music, while the melodies and riffs make sure you will come back later for another listen. Production on Ghost Stories is very tight and polished, as it shows off what the band can do. The bands very own guitarist/backing vocalist Joe de la Hoyde recorded and produced the album, displaying the impressive skills of a quality producer. While drawing from influenced such as Muse and the Black Keys, the band blends pop, indie, and rock in a way that will make it easy for them to make their their way into the ears of American listeners. The last track, “Sailing Stones” is a good example of a song I could picture myself hearing on the radio in the summer of 2004 over the PA system of my pool club, as I waited on line to jump off the high dive. The song is both familiar and fresh in its own way, and has the promise of a sing along hit.
This first installment of “Turn the People” has me interested and waiting for the next two parts, which are sure to have something good to offer. For now the quartet is preparing for a successful US tour this fall, as they are currently touring their homeland of Australia.