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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

These Monsters – Call Me Dragon – Album Review

These Monsters have succeeded in creating some of the most captivating, yet frustrating music so far this year

Written by Tom Stanton

These Monsters

Throughout the history of popular music the alliance between guitar and saxophone has always been an uneasy one. A number of brave musicians have experimented with this combination, capsule from burdened Baker Street busker Gerry Rafferty to (c)rap-metal also-rans Dog Eat Dog – and the results have always been mixed.

On These Monsters debut album, cost the Leeds-based rockers use the infamous aerophone to provide the albums most interesting moments, weaving thrilling trails of melancholy and surprising sensuality between the agitated guitars and muscular rhythm section. The band creates a beautiful, bruising sound. The sax on the outro of Dirty Messages wrenches the song from a black hole of noise allowing it to glisten dramatically for the last few bars. This secret weapon is also used to particular effect on the title track, the sprawling Space Ritual and the thundering Harry Patton.

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The album is given a shiny finish by Napalm Death producer Chris Fielding and save for a smattering of heavily distorted Sepultura screams it is predominantly instrumental – erring towards prog rather than post-rock. These Monsters are definitely an acquired taste, but most of the time it works.

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On final track Deaf Machine, however, the lack of variation in Sam Pryor and Ian Thirkill’s relentless hard-rock riffing combined with a Saxophone melody that begins to ape the incidental music from The Rockford Files, the exhilaration begins to wane slightly, with the track sitting just on the wrong side of experimental.

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Equal parts palatable and impenetrable. With Call Me Dragon These Monsters have succeeded in creating some of the most captivating yet frustrating music so far this year.

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