This is a review of "Heroic Dose" recorded by These Monsters. The review was written by Jonny Dickin in 2013.
These Monsters are, in my opinion, the fathers of the Leeds music scene at the moment, or at least they are the leaders of the noisy scene within Leeds. I first saw them last year supporting Wet Nuns on halloween at Nations. They were mind blowing, from their fancy dress to their insanely powerful sounds, they really impressed me enough to say "the best band I've seen in a long time". So, naturally, I couldn't wait to get stuck into their latest album, "Heroic Dose".
This album takes no time in getting to its main point; Noise, riffs and punk rock. Opening track, "Very Strong Very Clever" is a perfect opener for the album and prepares you for what to expect throughout this 29 minute collection of belters. Powerful tunes with strong words bellowed over the top. And the album follows a pattern of never relenting. Barely giving you a chance to wipe the sweat away and take a deep breath before the next tune is blaring away, and this works brilliantly. A lot of bands could learn from this formula. Theres no time wasted and that, paired with the sterling production, gives this album a very "live" feel. Its like they decided the running order, pressed record and just went for it. Extremely powerful.
The album continues in this vein throughout and is clearly not trying to be something its not. This is a noise punk album and it is not afraid to show it. You won't find shred solo's, ballads or acoustic guitars anywhere within. It sounds to me like Pulled Apart by Horses debut album, but with a lot more aggression.
As I mentioned, the production is spot on. Everything has its own place in the mix. The bass roars almost as loud as the guitars and the drums are extremely punchy, perfect for this genre. Everything just fits extremely well together. Producer, James Kenosha needs applauding for his work on this album.
I would, however, say that, even though the band have created a great formula of noise and riffs that works brilliantly, the songs are all quite similar to each other. At times, it feels a bit like you have already heard a song or a riff earlier on in the album. Its not necessarily a bad thing, and with the album being so short, it isn't grating, its just at certain points in the album, it feels like their could be room for exploring and taking the song in another direction. However, this album stays true to its roots and is all about sounding big and "heroic" and it certainly achieves that, to an extremely high standard. I feel like I can't do the energy and power in this album justice any better than telling you to wrap your ears around this album as soon as possible. Truly a great work of noise.
Make sure to catch These Monsters, along with Blacklisters and Hawk Eyes, live at Wharf Chambers on June 15th to celebrate the launch of "Heoric Dose"!