Monster On Sunday’s album, “Baby Eater” with a release date of August 7, has hints of all the greats that I listened to growing up. Remember all those scenes from “Wayne’s World” when they go to the metal clubs and head bang? When your older sibling drove you to a friends’ house and blasted the album your parents thought they confiscated because it was “Satan’s music”? Or even the slow dances in junior high where they played the rockin’ slow jams?
Maybe that’s just me. But, at least in the second case, this is very much Monster On Sunday.
My initial reaction upon the first few seconds was how retro-metal the sound was, and that feel continued throughout the album. Did you dig 80’s hair metal? Then you would definitely dig MOS. There are moments of Metallica’s black album, like in “Stardust” (think “Nothing Else Matters” with a little more life thrown into it), Helmet is found in there, particularly in some of my favorite tracks like “Christian Terrorist” and “Shunned”. There’s definitely a Black Sabbath feel to some; particularly the last track. But that’s mostly because it’s a Sabbath cover (and a great cover at that!). It definitely felt right at home with the rest of the songs they wrote.
With a female singer, it’s far too easy to equate MOS’ Tally Cass with whoever is popular in the music industry. Except for the fact that none of the female fronted, or solo, performers do anything sounding remotely like what MOS do. Instead, I found myself hearing a very distinct Geddy Lee style of singing in her voice, as well as how she articulated her phrases. Nothing sounds better than someone singing a song that shares your beliefs in naturalism and sounds like Rush. Particularly with how catchy and memorable some of the melodies are (“Believe in Yourself” is now permanently ingrained in my memory).
My one big piece of criticism is that some of the songs are structured more around the singing, and others around the instruments, which I think does a disservice to both. MOS are very talented song writers, and extremely talented musicians. I think it is great to tone it down instrumentally to let the singer shine, but also to give creative room for the instrumentalists to show what they can do. It felt like, in some songs, there was a decision made to focus more on the singing and to dull the instrumentation, and vice versa. I think the songs would’ve been phenomenal, and would have made some bigger dynamic changes and powerful moments if both had been given the right, and equal, amount of attention. Not that they aren’t already, but that would’ve nailed it (at least for me).
My only other small quibble is that in “Believe in Yourself”, a song that is absolutely the stand out track on the record, the solo is too short! I saw that song being the closing number in a movie, lighting up right as the credits start to roll, and the solo was perfect. But it ended so shortly I was tempted to throw it into an audio editing program just to double the length for my own pleasure. It’s not a huge deal, but it definitely made me listen to it about five more times just to try and get that fix I needed from hearing the song.
All things considered, this album is definitely a great listen. If not for all the old school metal influence, the Sabbath cover, or hearing a Rush-influenced singer tell you supernaturalism is rubbish, then absolutely to have it confiscated by your parents for being “Satan’s music”. KISS would be proud.