Modern Monsters Mash on Self-Titled EP
Once, three cuts would’ve been a single. A maxi-single, specifically, a nice little teaser to tide one over to a more prolonged series of tunes from an artist. Today, however, three cuts is enough to put out an EP, which is just what the Bay’s Modern Monsters did on their self-titled Extended Player.
There’s nothing particularly unusual about the length of these tunes (none surpass the three and a half minute marker), their titles, or even their sequence. But in terms of composition and energy—hell, let’s call it what it is, rocket fuel in several passages—this three-song EP has enough emotion, action, and drama to fill up any album.
Although this band of five call themselves Modern Monsters, the double M motif could have just as easily stood for Monster Metal, which is exactly what the crew is slinging on each and every tune. The electric guitars are overwhelming, the vocals border between screaming and ranting, and the pace of the drums is never ever lacking.
Vocalist Josh Weaver is likely the standout on this collection, likely because of the sheer range he displays. Despite his penchant for histrionics on the mic, he can definitely hold a tune and displays a knack for especially good melodies on the closer, “Stay Free”. But he even drops a rhyme or two on “Lament”, the fastest of the tracks, before exploding into high octane form while the electric guitars (courtesy of Rich Wells and Wyatt Lennon) simply erupt with the fervor of any neighboring volcano.
“Lament” also has one of those bass lines that can attract attention with just about any audience. Bassist Brody Bass (no joke, that’s how he’s credited) gets to grooving during the verses when Wells and Lennon ease off just a bit—only to make their return all the more notable during the hook and the tune’s rising action, as it were.
The fury and venom of the electric guitars is definitely palpable on “Furrow”, the opening number. In that respect it certainly sets the tone for the rest of the album. Almost all of these songs sound much longer than they actually are, because they’re packed with so much music, feeling, and transcendence.