Like so many bands featured on The Revue, Rare Monk is one of those hidden gems that have been overlooked by many, including me. When they released “Warning Pulse”, I didn’t pay much attention to it. However, after another listen, I came to appreciate the greatness of this visceral indie-rocker. The track offered a taste of what was to come, specifically the band’s self-titled, second EP.
Like their previous efforts and the lead single, Rare Monk is a collection of four, emotionally-charged songs. “Warning Pulse” opens the album and it is more than just a mere introduction – it is the highlight of the album. It stands out with its deep bass lines and a cinematic and heart-racing sound that contribute to one of the best individual songs of the year. “California” and “The Only Reason to Tour the Midwest” lack the dramatic power of the opening track, but these melodic, power-rock numbers hit all the right emotional notes with their stories about relationships past and present.
The closer, “Light Tricks”, further slows the pace down. Whereas “Warning Pulse” amazed with its expansive sound, this electro-rock ballad tantalizes with the stripped down approach where each note is elongated to accentuate the song’s emotion. The in addition of the violins adds another haunting quality to a song about letting go and moving on.
For this band, there’s only one way to go. While their sound pushes the boundaries of experimental electro-rock, it is still accessible. At the band’s highest points, the music is terrific and bordering on brilliant and cataclysmic. If the band can build on these moments, who knows how far and high they can reach.
Rare Monk are Dorian Aites (vocals, keys, violin, guitar); Isaac Thelin (violin, saxophone); Jacob Martin (guitar); Forest Gallien (bass); and Rick Buhr (drums).
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