Every song on MonstrO’s debut is a deeply layered opus. From the opening wail of “Fantasma” through the gentle chord fade out of 8-minute closer “April”, MonstrO deliver a solid album comprised of seasoned veterans who’ve been through the motions before and have the musical chemistry to guarantee staying power. Look at the line-up: There’s ex-Torche axemaster Juan Montoya, ex-Bloodsimple members Kyle Sanders on bass and Bevan Davies on drums along with vocalist/guitarist Charlie Suarez. Then you have their first album (available on September 6th) produced by Alice In Chains frontman (And former bandmate of Davies in Comes with the Fall) William DuVall on top of that AND an opening slot on the highly anticipated Kyuss Lives fall North American tour. If that’s not the definition of stars aligning then I don’t know what is.

Being guys who’ve been around the business awhile, they certainly show that they know how to craft an album on MonstrO. With 10 tracks total, the songs included offer  a great range from full on assaults (“Solar”) to slow burners (At least 3 tracks clock in well above the 6-minute mark) that show great depth for a “young” band and keep the listener invested.

If you’re missing the sick guitar tones that made Torche’s Meanderthal so unique, look no further than “Anchors Up!”. It’s got the sonic bounce of Montoya’s former band but the similarities end when Suarez’s high registered croon (Check out lead-in “Fantasma” or “Olympia” for some vaguely Cornell-esque similarities.) chimes in.

If you want a great introductory track to MonstrO, forget “Anchors Up!” or the similarly rocking “Stallone” and head straight for “Concertina” It’s the best example of what they have to offer to new fans. The bass thump that starts things off segues into a Pearl Jam/The Who style guitar jam (Think “Baba O’Riley”) in no time at all and just when you think you have things figured out, a static guitar riff comes from out of nowhere, mixes with some great spacey guitar lines and segues you out again. It’s roller coaster ride songs like this that’ll keep fans coming back for more.

MonstrO is unleashed this week through Vagrant. Get yours here and be sure to check them out live this fall with Kyuss Lives!


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