Monsters and Men
by Craig Regala
These guys have their eye on the sweep of classic rock’s big-voiced mix of European folk traditions and U.S.-bred country and blues. U2, The Doors, Pearl Jam, and Live all come to mind for the particular mix of almost ballads and yearning evident: A “pop” approach mined from Frank Sinatra’s “blue” records with ye olde arena-ready approach already intact. Even some of the mid-’80s Cure/Echo and The Bunnymen/Big Country stream washes over their feet. I could see’m covering David Bowie’s “Heroes” and the press sheet mentioned Jeff Buckley (throw his dad in there, too). I gotta say it’s the wistful side of the Doors that casts the longest shadow over Monsters and Men. The singing is more melodic and less choppy, but some of Jane’s Addiction reach is in the mix too. The tunes are fully rounded into songs – not just a riff and a chorus – so they may have a chance to work something out of a tough territory. The cover of “Summertime” (Gershwin as jazz pop classic as exists) shows a lotta class and a cool direction these guys can easily handle. At your next classic rock party, sammich’m between The Moody Blues, U2, Pearl Jam, Jeff Buckley, Shaw Blades, and Supertramp, and see if anyone bitches.