These Monsters - Call Me Dragon
He drops 50p into the jukebox and punches in the number for The Doors' ‘Riders On The Storm’. The pub is pretty empty; it’s a Tuesday night so that’s to be expected. But there he stands in the middle of the pub dancing alone, his arms twisting and clawing at the air, painting the flames of the fire in his imagination. He’s the local headcase from my hometown – each town was allocated one back in 1930s to make everyone else feel better. Then someone’s dog starts to bark and it won’t stop. No amount of shouting resolves the situation, it just continues to bark. That is until the headcase walks up to the dog and starts to whisper – instantly the dog stops barking as it wants to hear what the Jim Morrision impersonator is saying. Genius.
Leeds based rockers These Monsters are also aware to the power of silence. With vocals so low in the mix that they are almost inaudible against the Mogwai-esque post-rock soundtrack you might question if you are hearing voices on a first play (or be checking your speakers are cabled in correctly). But then an astonishing thing happens - as you are forced to concentrate so very hard to listen to the vocals you are pulled far deeper into the music. Once you have focused in it’s impossible to pull away. The complex musical structures become your whole world and the seven tracks that make up Call Me Dragon form continents of noise to traverse.
Whilst musically they aren’t charting new territory, their competency and quality of production really shines through. Every note and detail can be clearly heard as the band play as a single entity, charged with purpose and direction. This is an intense and extremely resolute album that balances power and control. Churning waves of dark riffs flow freely in and out of intricate structures and at any time the looming echo of voices drift out of the darkness, calling you like sirens to crash onto their post-rock shores. Let’s get shipwrecked.