Review Summary: A great first piece of the puzzle.
Monks of Mellonwah are a four-piece alternative rock band from Sydney, Australia. Their fourth EP, Ghost Stories
, is the first in what is expected to be a trilogy of shorter releases, together comprising the band’s debut full-length album.
On its most simplistic level, Ghost Stories
is a great Red Hot Chili Peppers/Incubus homage that does justice to the legacies of the aforementioned groups, without coming off as a mere imitator or clone. Furthermore, the style is executed with such precision that it allows the Monks a fair amount of leeway when it comes to accusations of ‘copying’ the most prominent traits of the two bands’ sounds.
The title track gets proceedings underway and it is immediately apparent that this is a group that loves to harmonise. Starting off with some lovely, melodic guitar-work before Vikram Kaushik’s vocals enter the fray for the first time, there is a sense that this is going to be a relatively chilled out affair. That assumption certainly holds true throughout most of the EP, as the Monks seem to favour melody, harmony and groove over ‘rocking out’ and this works to their advantage. With that said, “Ghost Stories” ends with a heavier section reminding listeners that the Monks of Mellonwah definitely are
still a rock band, and they can pull out all the stops when they need to.
“Vanity” sees even more of a Chili Peppers influence, replete with funky riffs and Frusciante-esque backing vocals. At worst, it’s hard to shake the feeling that you’ve heard the song before but that doesn’t change the fact that this is yet another great tune that will be stuck in your head for days.
“Sailing Stones” is possibly the most upbeat track on this release, and is one of the few times where Kaushik’s vocals could definitely use a little more edge. His melodic singing is excellent and it suits the tone of the music, but in “Sailing Stones”, a slightly more upbeat number, it would be nice to hear him adding a bit of aggression to his delivery. In less than three minutes, the song rocks harder than the other two and even contains an impressive guitar solo towards the end. A fine way to close out the EP, despite the less-impressive vocal performance.
Clocking in at around 10 minutes, this is little more than a brief indication of what is still to come from the Monks of Mellonwah. However, Ghost Stories
is a great first piece of the puzzle and Turn the People
looks set to be a highly enjoyable debut album.