Oh That Monster

Thelonious Monster

Independent release, 2020


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Who would have thought that this hellacious year would give us the first new Thelonious Monster record since 2004? Well, we’ve got it and it also includes four original members including longtime MIA guitarist Chris Handsome! This is basically a group of longtime friends getting together to make music and see what comes out of it. No huge expectations or anything, just friends making music. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Disappear” has some great vocals from Bob Forrest, while “Falling Behind” has a nice breezy feel to it, which is unlike a lot of other Monster tracks but it’s a nice change of pace that suits the band these days. This is a way more subdued Monster than we’ve previously heard, but that’s what I can imagine happens when punk bands get older. It’s just nice to see and hear them having so much fun with what they’re doing and recording the results.

“Elijah” is a good song but the production suffers. The sound is a bit too harsh and not clear enough, but otherwise it’s got a lot of energy and one of the best tracks on the record. That’s a title that is shared with “Sixteen Angels,” a downbeat track with blues harmonica and some good playing from the band. Some of Forrest’s best vocals I’ve encountered are on this song and it’s nice to know he’s still capable of surprising us.

“LA Divorce” is another good track but if one was coming here thinking they were gonna hear some ragtag punk rock, they best be looking for another record. This sort of record is akin to a melodic, mature folk, singer-songwriter record and that suits the Monster just fine. It just feels nice to say that the Monster is still alive and doesn’t look to be heading for the hills anytime soon.

Rating: B-

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