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Monte Luna – Drowners' Wives

Monte Luna
Drowners' Wives
by Dave Nowels at 31 October 2019, 8:35 AM

MONTE LUNA are a two piece acid soaked sludge band out of Austin, precariously balancing a heavy psych vibe with an equally heavy punkish feel. I say precariously balanced because throughout “Drowners' Wives” it seems that either vibe could come out the victor, and that's what makes this release so damn impressive and intriguing. Despite  it's six tracks, “Drowners' Wives” carries with it more of an EP feel with it's short length of only about 35 minutes long. Short, but substantive. There's a lot to take in, and it's a fun trip. After giving an album a precursory first listen, I usually then dive into their web or social media pages to try and get an idea of what makes them tick. For MONTE LUNA, it's a jumbled mix of  drugs, sci-fi, SABBATH, MELVINS, BLACK FLAG, EYEHATEGOD, Lovecraft, Sagan, MOUNTAIN, MILES DAVIS, NEUROSIS, SLEEP. Some I expected after that first listen, and some I didn't. Yet, it all seems appropriate here on the band's Argonauta release.

The album begins with, “The Water Hag” which certainly calls forth the MELVIN's influence, odd, chord changes timings that indicate a unique approach and ability towards song composition. As the song approaches it's crescendo, it's a bit of a wonder that a duo creates this much sound and landscape, yet that's exactly what James and Philip accomplish. “Butcher of Blaviken's” closing moments sees James CL's guitar tone gently mimicking Miles' trumpet, bringing the earlier mention of the MILES DAVIS influence to bear. Yet, the fact that it's more reminiscent of Miles' “In A Silent Way” era rather than the anticipated “Bitches Brew” inluence was certainly a clever and unexpected twist. “Night of Long Fangs”, retains the BLACK FLAG/EYEHATEGOD influence musically, lyrically the approach calls forth a Lovecraftian vibe perfectly rendered and completed with despair filled vocals. Indeed, the atmosphere utilized throughout “Drowners Wives” is impeccable. “Wild Hunt's” drum intro as well as it's atmospheric based approach projects a vivid painting of a scene. One centered around the perspective of object horror or perhaps it's the perspective of those completing a successful hunt. I'm still undecided.

The album begins it's closing stretch with the addition of keyboards courtesy of Jaime Ramirez on “Man of Glass” and the eight minute blistering “Scenes From A Marriage” which is frantic, and brilliant. Overall, I dig it. As a Texas native, I'm always excited to hear Texas bands. MONTE LUNA certainly didn't disappoint my expectations, and I've added another band I hope to see live sooner than later. Definitely an album worth checking out.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production; 8


3 Star Rating

1. The Water Hag
2. The Butcher Of Blaviken
3. Night of Long Fangs
4. Wild Hunt”
5. Man of Glass
6. Scenes From A Marriage
James Clarke – Guitar/Bass
Philip Hook - Drums
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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