Genre: Heavy Rock
Released: May 2018
Reviewed by: Benedict Roff-Marsh
Are you a fan of Led Zeppelin? Would you like them to release another record? How about Cream, Yardbirds, Wishbone Ash, Can?
I think that the guys in Electric Monolith must have their tongues firmly in cheek to make this record and call it what they did. Well, I did until I looked at their Facebook. These three fellows seem to be taking this rather seriously; like it is 1972 in Barcelona. Good on em I say.
I can say that because it is all for naught if the record sucks. And this one sure don’t.
By now you should be about half into the first song. And like me, you are probably amazed that this record sounds like the real deal. Unlike Gygax who had pretty well nailed a sound but not the reason that old music worked, Electric Monolith straight up weigh in with a slab of rock that could have been on the radio any night in 1972.
Why. I can only guess but what I can say is that they all play tight, but with a groove that suggests that this has been nowhere near a computer with some excuse-for-a-producer sitting there for hours dragging every hit into perfect time and then replacing most of the sounds with samples. This sounds like Rock instead of Techno pretending to be Metal.
The reason this band & record stands out in a sea of pretenders who claim to love vintage Rock but couldn’t play it if their guitar frets lit up, is that not only do the riffs flow organically, but all the rules of music have been followed.
We start with a Bluesy base, heavy it up, but never lose the sense of the music having a progression. The parts all make sense together musically. I never feel that the riffs are more important than the song.
Now I must say that I have never really been a big fan of this particular niche of music despite being a fan of Heavy Metal so I won’t wax lyrical about how much I love the record myself. I like a more evolved sense of song myself but I know there are many people who just love the deeper riffy, bluesy thing.
The few things I have in my collection that are close will give you a sense of where Electric Monolith might fit in if you don’t immediately say, oh this is kinda like Budgie, Rory Gallagher, or some band not many people remember.
Led Zeppelin because they were the biggest of the riffers, Hendrix because he was the best of em. But both of these acts had strong and lasting success because they knew there is more to great Rock than simply riffing radical. Iron Maiden’s latest, “Book Of Souls” has a darker, slightly 70’s Prog Rock sound with strong riffage but again the songs have stronger vocal/melodic hooks. I was tempted to show Boston’s first record but that is simply because “Resurrect The Dead” almost sounds that big.
I am very happy to have heard of Electric Monolith and would like to know when there is a new record as with stronger hooks in the songwriting they could be more than that band you heard on the radio at night but never in the prime time. Of all the bands I have heard so far mining this seam, these guys sound the most genuine and I would love to see them be able to cross over (even tho the old fans will say they sold out).