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Monks of Mellonwah – Afraid To Die EP Review

Australian indie quartet Monks of Mellonwah’s new full-length CD Turn The People is being released in three parts. The first EP Ghost Stories was released on 29 June and now the second EP Afraid To Die has been released today.

The Monks of Mellonwah have signed to A&R Worldwide (Muse, Coldplay) as well as winning ‘Best International Rock Band’ at the LA Music Awards and AIM Music Awards in 2012. This year they toured nationally and played Singapore’s Music Matters Festival.

Strongly influenced by rock artists such as Led Zeppelin, Muse, Pink Floyd and the Chili Peppers, the Monks’ music displays a masterful and unique blend of intense space, driving riffs and sharp metaphors. As their sound evolved, so did their love for both classic rock and modern progression/experimentation.

Their first EP, Stars Are Out, found the Monks receiving significant radio play across Australia on community radio. The band released their first music video for Swamp Groove in April 2011 and enjoyed airplay on ABC’s music program RAGE. Swamp Groove also claimed first prize at a music video night at “Harold’s Shorts” short film festival, receiving great reviews and the award from legendary music historian and personality Glenn A Baker.

The Monks released their second EP Neurogenesis in May, 2012, along with a new video for the track Neverending Spirit, to an overwhelming response. The band successfully toured for Neurogenesis throughout Australia in Summer 2012 working with Tone Deaf and continued their outreach with a United States tour organised by President Entertainment.

Monks of Mellonwah

Monks of Mellonwah

On 1 April 2013, the band released the progressive and experimental EP/single Sky and the Dark Night, an emotionally charged, heavy offering showcasing the band’s new direction that was hinted at with Neurogenesis.

Now the Monks have taken a turn again with Turn The People, a full-length album being released in three parts. Turn The People finds the Monks experimenting and truly showcasing the bold new sound they’ve developed over the past year of touring, writing and studio work. Rock, electronic and strong pop sensibility infuse this offering.

Title track Afraid To Die introduces a strong rock influence to this EP. Its starts with low tones and heavy bass with a punchy guitar riff in the forefront. Downfall continues to build on the Monks of Mellonwah’s rock style as the fast guitar riff plays unaccompanied at the beginning of the song. Vikram Kaushik’s vocals are as pleasant as ever on Downfall showing off his soft voice that is naturally good. There’s no straining heard in his vocals.

Alive For A Minute is a much more chilled out track compared to the previous two. It has a really wonderful deep bass line drawing the listener’s attention to it leaving the drums being heard playing faintly in the background. It’s the bass line and the occasional strings which accompany it that carry this song. Kaushik has the sort of voice that sends shivers down your spine – you can hear his emotion and strength in every line of lyrics sung. This is especially true in the first verse, “Chasing away in a place where the light is all gone/Run around it’s over now the final seed is a no…”

I Belong To You is a stripped back number with only an acoustic guitar and some soft electronic melodies present making this track the most relaxed on the record. The lyrics, “I still dream of a day of when I’m closer/When I become all that I can be/In my surrender in no conception/I still lose/In my obsession/There’s still no mention of you” are lyrics that can be related to. These lyrics sung with a lack of instruments emphasise the emotion behind this track.

Once again the Monks of Mellonwah have produced an excellent EP that offers emotionally charged rock songs that suit any mood. Afraid To Die is out now.

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Monks of Mellonwah To Release New Album, Turn The People, In Three Parts

Australian indie quartet Monks of Mellonwah are releasing their new album Turn The People in three parts with Ghost Stories being the first volume.

Having been compared to the likes of Incubus, Muse and The Black Keys, Monks of Mellonwah are definitely a band to watch. While the vocals by Vikram Kaushik are very similar to that of Incubus’ Brandon Boyd, Monks of Mellonwah do have their own unique musical style that cannot be compared. And as ever, this unique sound is as present on Ghost Stories as on previous releases Neurogenesis and Sky and the Dark Night.

Monks of Mellonwah

Monks of Mellonwah

The first volume of Turn The People consists of three songs; Ghost Stories, Vanity and Sailing Stones. From the first note on the guitar of Ghost Stories, you can instantly recognise the record as belonging to the Monks of Mellonwah. Kaushik’s vocals sound more mature on this album, they sound different from his vocals on Neurogenesis, for example. His vocals seem cleaner in a way. The chorus, “Turning and burning/The apple falls so far from the tree…” is incredibly catchy and will have you singing along in no time.

Vanity sounds quite different from their previous material. It’s more upbeat than the other songs on their previous records. Vanity feels like a mix between Fall Out Boy and Maroon 5 which is surprisingly brilliant – definitely the best song of the three. Vanity has elements of the sounds heard on Maroon 5’s, Songs About Jane. The guitar riff in the chorus screams Maroon 5 while the drum beat and guitar riff towards the end lends itself towards Fall Out Boy as do the vocals throughout. It has that refreshing feel which will instantly have you tapping your feet to the beat.

Sailing Stones brings the record back to the familiar sound of the Monks of Mellonwah. Sailing Stones really allows Kaushik to show off his vocal talents as the music is sparse during parts of the song which gives his voice the space needed to show it off. There’s an awesome Indian inspired guitar solo accompanied by dramatic strings towards the end of the song – every listener should hang on just to hear it.

The Monks of Mellonwah signed to A&R Worldwide as well as winning Best International Rock Band at the LA Music Awards and AIM Music Awards in 2012. They were also chosen to play at Singapore’s Music Matters Festival in May. They’re currently on a national tour and will embark on their second US tour this Fall.

Australian Tour Dates (Queensland and other dates will be announced shortly. The tour will be 16 stops.):
3 August -The Annandale, Sydney, NSW
14 August – Yours & Owls – Woolongong, NSW
15 August – The Australian Brewery, Rouse Hill, NSW

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