Keep The Voices Distant (Graveface)
By Mike Delano
I get a funny feeling when words like “dreamy,” “transporting” and “atmospheric” are used to describe a band’s sound. They all sound good in theory, but in reality it usually means 10-minute songs, albums that stretch for 80+ minutes and all manner of sprawling soundscapes, as if having a “big” sound required the songs to be “big” themselves. Any chance I can get a “big” sound in a more accessible format? Enter Monster Movie. They’ve got the dreamy, fuzzy, shoegazing, all-encompassing sound down pat, but they don’t waste time in making their point. They pack more atmosphere and propulsive, panoramic panache into the three minutes of “Shouldn’t Stray from the Shadows” — from their fifth album (and first since 2010) Keep The Voices Distant — than other bands can muster in an entire album. Everything here is just as long as it needs to be, from the beautifully somber title track to the engrossing, multi-part closer “Dead in the Water.” Seven years may be a long time to wait between releases, but it’s given the band time to chisel and polish these songs until they gleam.