Never judge a band by its name. Before you hear Australia’s Monks of Mellonwah, the name might inspire visions of some kind of dark rock and dour AC/DC perhaps. However, Monks of Mellonwah have more in common with their countrymen (and woman) San Cisco as well as U.K. acts Kodaline and Everything Everything, or America’s Walk the Moon.
The band was formed by schoolmates Vikram Kaushik, Joseph de la Hoyde, Joshua Baissari, and John de la Hoyde, in Sydney in 2009. They have released three EPs and one full album. North American audiences might recognize them from their 2013 track “Ghost Stories,” which received extensive airplay on alternative rock radio.
Their fourth, and latest, EP Disconnect finds the band embracing a more contemporary alternative sound. The music is more layered and less rocky, which makes the listener wonder if this was an artistic decision or a commercial one. Even if it’s the latter, that’s not a bad thing as many of the songs here are much stronger than their “hit” of a few years back.
“Never Been Good” instantly grabs the ears and is indicative of the band’s matured sound. A groovy number, it does a nice job of setting the table for the rest of the EP. “Even When it Burns,” presumably the next single, bats second and picks up the pace nicely. The track has that ‘80s twinge so common in a lot of indie music today, but it doesn’t overwhelm.
“Show Me Something More” might be the best track on the EP, showcasing the Monk’s sound, both musically and vocally, as well as their songwriting skills. This really should have been the lead-off single. Other influences that crop up are Keane, clearly heard on the title track and Maroon 5 on the closing track “Look at Me.”
Disconnect should, in fact, connect with music fans around the world.
8 Monks out of 10
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.