in Review


Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk

I downloaded this a few days ago (Though technically it came out today) but I’ve been so desperate for new music that I just had to get this in advance. “Music-wise” it’s been rough for me finding anything worthwhile lately. Here it’s already September and I’ve barely heard anything that’s really impressed me. Fortunately I’ve finally found peace in the last week or so with the latest from Muse (I’ll review it eventually unless Sean wants to, I think he’s a bigger Muse fan than I am.) and now the debut record from rock supergroup “Monsters of Folk”. A soulful and beautiful slice of Americana from a very talented group of guys.

Jim James is what initially attracted me to this project but here he’s just another cog in this rock n’ roll wheel. These four work so tightly together that I find it surprising that they’re a supergroup. I don’t know how these guys managed to get on such a perfect wave length but this album just flows seamlessly from acoustic ballads to jaunty blues folk. Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes takes on producing duties and excels at tying together these rootsy rock gems.

What’s great here is even if there’s a song I’m not crazy about, the production and instrumentation will make up for it. Earthy acoustic guitars with limited, yet inventive percussion provides a fun and genuine listening experience. I mean a lot of the songs here are pretty basic but considering the genre it all feels quite appropriate.

Lyrically M.O.F primarily invokes imagery of the american frontier of yesteryear. Connor Oberst stands out with his poetic approach but like I previously stated, there’s really no weak link in any department of this group. What makes the Monsters of Folk a good supergroup is how evenly everything is divided up. There doesn’t appear to be any egos or any member trying to push their way into the spotlight. It’s just a bunch of alternative rockers getting together and having a good time. Finally I have an album this year that I can honestly say I like without the word “But…” following it.

Favorite Tracks: “Ahead of the Curve”, “Say Please”, “Whole Lotta Losin'”