>One of the really hard things to resist when reviewing bands is to draw comparisons between them and other, more established, bands. On one hand, it gives the reader an instant point of reference, but on the other, it does neither party any favours. No band sounds exactly like another (apart from Razorlight, who seem to have cribbed the Boomtown Rats’ sound wholesale). But when a band comes along that sounds like a combination of three great bands – let’s say, The Fall, Pavement and The Pixies - wouldn’t it just be more stupid not to mention the fact?
Thought so. Thus, let’s start by stating right now that Today’s New Band, Monster Island, sounds like a ragged combination of The Fall, Pavement and The Pixies. This sounds like a grand boast, but it’s true. To mention The Fall is a bit of a given – Monster Island are an off-beat indie band from Manchester, and therefore it’s virtually a legal obligation to mention Mark E. Smith’s grumpy lot. But it’s fair, this time, as in songs like Hothouse, there’s the same sparse, threatening griminess that pervades the best Fall records. See Twin Towns too for a Pavement-y lollop and and the Pixies’ patented loud ‘n’ quiet dynamics are oozing out all over too.
Beyond glib comparisons, there was one moment when listening to Monster Island‘s songs that actually delighted me. Yup, actual, tangible delight, bordering on glee, a feeling which made my wizened, blackened heart start to flutter. Throughout their chuntering (and free-to-download) song They Never Sleep, the music is occasionally interpolated with screeching sounds of tapes rewinding, bleeping and electronic interference. Deliberate or not, it’s a fabulous, pointless detail which screams of lethargic, understated, inventiveness. Brilliant.
So that’s my justification for taking the easy comparative route to describing them. Listen for yourself here, on their Myspace page.