Monks of Mellonwah, (also refered to as MOM) is a four-piece band from Sydney, Australia. After a number of EP’s the band is finally releasing their debut album, Turn The People. The album features a total of 13 tracks that cover such genres as alternative, rock, pop, electronic, and indie. Whenever a band uses so many different elements it can be difficult to grasp an overall sound. Have Monks of Mellonwah reached musical stardom or do they live in a musical mess?
Even though this is their debut album Monks of Mellonwah have already been through a lot. The departure of a member, rejoining of that member, and the second departure of that member. The remaining members (all original) are Vikram Kaushik on lead vocals and backup guitar, John de la Hoyde on Bass, Joe de la Hoyde on lead guitar, and Joshua Baissari on drums.
MOM tries to be funky, stylish, and abstractly spiritual, but instead usually comes off more as poppy, dancey, and everything middle schoolers want on their iPod. That does not mean that they sound bad; they are competent musicians willing to incorporate new elements into their music. For a rough or immediate comparison one could compare Turn The People to The Cab or Maroon 5 due to the flow of the vocals and dancey beats. However, MOM also mixes it up, tracks such as Downfall focus more on a rock element and guitar solos, while Afraid to Die demonstrates surprisingly groovy bass.
“Class clown not another sad face whose life went under. We all know the rules can bend and break away, think of the stakes.” At times it seems as though the lyrics and rhyming for rhythm, not due to the message being conveyed, “when we run, we find sun.” Wheather or not that is the case, it seems vocals are taking the helm of the band, where in the past they played more of an equal role.
The lack of genre consistency from MOM is a good sign, it demonstrates that as a band, Monks of Mellonwah is growing, yet strong enough to commit to a new sound wholeheartedly. Continuing to make music will likely only benefit them as they discover what new elements they find most necessary. They already do this in Turn The People. Afraid to Die incorporates a powerful horn section and other tracks make use of additional piano, violin, and more.
Luckily, Monks of Mellonwah has an official video for the track Ghost Stories, one of the more rock oriented songs from Turn The People.
Turn The People almost doesn’t sound like it came from the past of Monks of Mellonwah. Inspirations such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queens of the Stone Age feel vibrant and present in older EP’s the band put out but less prevalent in this debut album. Could the collaboration with producer Keith Olson have something to with the change?
Monks of Mellonwah have made some changes for their debut album Turn The People. As a band they are still growing and this is likely just the beginning for this talented band. Will they return to the Swamp Groove vibes they spawned from or find a new direction?
Opinion By Garrett Jutte