Feb 26, 2013

Rare Monk release Sleep/Attack and prepare to thier make Columbus debut

Today Rare Monk releases Sleep/Attack and prepare to make their Columbus debut this Friday. The name-your-own-price album is far more complex and multifaceted than the majority of elctro-pop, pseudo-grunge and angst driven goth revival tunes making their rounds amongst the blogosphere today.

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This album transcends so many genres, resulting in a less than “cohesive” sound, which upon much internal debate is not necessarily a bad thing. Obviously most bands are influenced by a variety of genres, yet are expected think linearly when its time to record? And in the age of floundering attention spans of fans and blogs’ necessity to constantly identify the next “big thing” its hard to fault a band for providing their fans with a bit of diversity.

The combination of intricate guitar work that often harmonizes with the violin, an occasional brass section spearheaded by the saxophone and perfectly placed keys to bridge the gaps are the standard for these immensely talented musicians. The album’s pseudo-instrumental track “Center of it All” and lyricless “Mama Bear” put their musicianship fully on display from the first note.

“Center of it All” with its ethereal Sigur Ros vibe starts gently, providing listeners with a deserved respite after the intensity of “Underground” (the album’s previous track). However, its the fully instrumental track “Mama Bear” that attracted us to Rare Monk in the first place. Despite the fact that this album features one track with a Foster the People-esque vocal delivery and another with non sarcastic auto-tune, finishing the album with a lyricless aural mindfuck of wailing guitars and violin that blend together so seamlessly you have to scratch your head and ask “which is which?” is just the tip of their talent iceberg.

Nevertheless, its the songwriting ability of Dorian Aites that truly differentiates Rare Monk from their indie counterparts. Sleep/Attack’s opening track “Death by Proxy” lures the listener in with cheerful pop musical overtones, but upon further scrutiny these incredibly dark and sinister lyrics force you to look up “vivisect” and suddenly feel creepy.

To show your mistakes don’t underestimate the backlash of hypocrisy
I’ll sell you
Yeah I’ll copyright your breath just a few cents
My legal team said I should tell you
I’ve already trademarked your death I’ll post your suicide to Vimeo

“Timebreakers” starts out teetering as a rock/country hybrid, replacing lead guitar with the violin as the focal point of the song, contains intellectually braggadocious self-discovery lyrics of the geometrical variety.

I’m searching for a signal
So I keep my eyes up on the sky
A tesseract deep through the middle
Of what’s abstract and what’s defined
I’ll be fine

And finally with title track of the album “Sleep Attack” the lyrics forced this author to grab a dictionary (google).

Are you the lucky one?
Once the penumbra’s done
You’re the setting sun
Seratonin’s pun

Sleep/Attack as an album is definitely a journey of both the musical and lyrical variety, walking a tight rope between self-indulgence and unpretentious artistic expression. Luckily, if you’re in Columbus this Friday you can catch them for FREE as part of Sixpoint’s Beer is Culture music series at Hounddogs.

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