Reminiscent of The Script, Bastille, One Republic, and at times The Killers, the Monks of Mellonwah have a collective and integrated sound that permeates their latest EP “Disconnect”. Set to be released next month, the seven song collection is a nice summertime download. The Australian quartet exudes both a nineties grit and eighties nostalgia. Their sound is catered to commercial appeal, falling inside the alternative pop realm. Aesthetically, their music is uplifting, triumphant and spirited.
I would not consider “Disconnect” innovative, new, or groundbreaking. But it’s still entertaining. As I imbibed the EP repeatedly, I enjoyed it more in depth. This is true of most viral hits I hear on the radio and Spotify. Within the third listen I couldn’t help singing along to their single “Even When It Burns”, released last month. The chorus is a mantra to be sung over and over again. Until at a certain moment, it’s simply stuck in your head even after the song has ended.
My favorite track off “Disconnect” is “Look At Me”, a dance song in the same vein as Maroon Five’s “This Love”. With a strong rhythmic pull and an alluring chorus, it has the makings of a hit. Quite catchy and easy to sing along with, I was bobbing my head up and down, throughly entertained. I also enjoyed “Feel it Coming”, which again reminds me of early 2000 pop boy bands like Maroon Five, Backstreet Boys, and Evan and Jaron.
Tracks like “Show Me Something More” come close to being great. However, there’s a disconnect (no pun intended) between the quality of the vocals, the production, and the instrumentation. At times, the vocal performances are inadequate compared to the expansive production, while at other times the songwriting and melody is much more effective than the production behind it. This leaves the song feeling unbalanced. It’s the difference between a hit and the simulation of a hit.
Their track “Never Been Good” sounds overdone and repetitive as if I’ve heard it before. Obviously not this exact song, but something close enough. It is catchy, so it’s lack of originality may be less important than it’s marketability. Sometimes that’s good enough.
As I first listened to their album titled track “Disconnect”, it reminded me of the scene from Clueless where Cher realizes she’s in love with Josh and “All By Myself” comes on underneath her monologue. It has that very emotionally pulling effect which induces a feeling of something. It’s difficult to say what but a mixture of doom, nostalgia, hope, and youth. The lyrics almost don’t matter. And the production is so strong, you don’t totally despise the much to be desired vocal performances given.
The EP was produced by Joseph de la Hoyde and mixed by Grammy nominated mixing engineer Slavic Livins. The Monks and Monte Malone arranged all the songs on “Disconnect”. The Sydney based quartet won both the Best Indie Rock Band and International Rock Band of the Year in 2012. Last year they toured with Scott Strapp and Seven Dust in the United States. They’ve also opened for Saving Abdel, Gemini Syndrome and You Am I, to name a few. They’ve gained accolades and recognition for both awards and past festivals they’ve played including Musexpo, Music Matters, and The Rock Summit.
To stay up to date you can track thier website, Bandcamp, Facebook, and Twitter pages. You can also see videos on their Youtube page. Stream their latest single “Even When It Burns” on Soundcloud.