Music Review: Turn the People by Monks of Mellonwah

I’m starting to republish my music reviews from The Doughnut here on my writing blog and so have gone back to the very first one. I hope you like them. D K.

Turn The People album cover

It’s hard to believe that “Turn the People” is merely the debut album for this four-piece Australian group. It’s a cracking good album. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise; MOM have been together over four years and quickly became recognized as a band to notice winning ‘Best International rock Band’ at the LA Music Awards and AIM Music Awards in 2012 and extensively touring internationally in 2013.

These guys (Vikram Kaushik – lead vocals; Joseph de la Hoyde – guitar; Joshua Baissari – drums; John de la Hoyde – Bass) have honed their skills in the modern-day equivalent of how the Beatles learned their craft in Hamburg before signing up with EMI. Still, it’s a debut album and ought to sound like one.

It doesn’t. It’s too good.

In fact, I’m a little embarrassed how damned good it is. I keep playing it repeatedly like I’m fifteen again and bopping away in my room to most of the thirteen tracks when I think no one is looking.

‘Afraid To Die’

For an instant feel for how good they are, check out the video of ‘Ghost Stories’, their opening track of the album, on Youtube. Director Bruno Kataoka has produced a little gem not least, admittedly, because of the ‘nurse’ who manages to be both hot and eerily disturbing at the same time. Visuals aside, if you like this video, you’re going to love the album.

MOM have successfully taken the best of 70s groups like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and merged them with the likes of the Peppers, a little Satriani – and added a lot of movie-style scoring to boot. They’ve created their own sound as befits a true ‘progressive rock’ group.

For me, the movie quality to the scoring was the best thing about the album. ‘Alive For a minute’ eased us onto the big screen gradually with its pizzicato strings underscoring increasingly rising in tension and leading us to ‘Escaping Alcatraz’ which is unashamedly cinematic before we get to the title track ‘Turn the People’ which reminded me of the recent Tom Cruise movie, Oblivion. These are movie songs just waiting for directors. To be honest, I predict a Bond movie before long.

‘Ghost Stories’ Video

But for all I love the rich orchestral-style underscoring, my favorite track, almost at the end, couldn’t be further away. ‘I Belong to You’ is a beautiful ballad reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ but with MOM’s character stamped all over it. It’s delicious and I’m not ashamed to say so.

The Monks of Mellonwah are touring extensively this year with a US radio tour kicking off in June at Phoenix, Arizona. I have no doubt they’re going to continue rising at the speed of fireworks and sparkle just as brightly.

Rightly so; I want more.

See all my music reviews at The Doughnut


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