Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rare Monk- Astral Travel Battles

Rare Monk is a five piece band out of Portland, Oregon that immediately pulled my heartstrings with their special brand of violin smoked indie rock that floats through galaxies of psychedelic guitars, 90s alternative, and indie rock. On their most recent album, Astral Travel Battles (self released, June 2011), the band shows off its collective dexterity and schizophrenia by jumping through an array of musical genres over seven oddly cohesive tracks.

The album's spirited opener "Shoot Me Down" sets the standard as lead singer Dorian Aites wails a simple tale of an outlaw on the run over a catchy background of pulsating guitars and saloon table slapping strings. "Teak" then steers in a different direction. The band's unpretentious political side emerges through Aites' banshee screams and metaphorical imagery, playing with your analysis of what Rare Monk really is, before bleeding seamlessly into the dreamy, Minus the Bearesque "Declaration of Entropic (In)Dependence"; an infectious song with a classic indie rock sound that pairs well with the soaring foundations of "Crystalline Logic".

The morphing face of Rare Monk continues through the rest of the album, but you are never left bewildered with their motives. Astral Travel Battles is a cornucopia of post-90s alternative influences cultivated within a pristine rhythm section's superior skills, the charisma that strings bring to rock and roll, and the voice of a compelling lead singer that demands attention like the two lead singers he reminds me of in Isaac Brock and Matt Shultz.

The "rare" in their name is as authentic as their arsenal. This is a band to keep your ear on.

  • Stumble This
  • Fav This With Technorati
  • Add To
  • Digg This
  • Add To Facebook
  • Add To Yahoo


Post a Comment

Copyright 2010 BlogSoup