Monsters of Folk | A Review of The Monsters of Folk’s Self-Titled Album

Supergroups seem to be all the rage these days and why not? The effect of Supergroups are obvious and economical, musicians like to play and perform with their peers, it’s what they do, they perform, and the better the group is as a whole the better they feel about their individual performances. The Monsters of Folk is a variation on the whole super group idea. Bands like Chicken Foot, a Supergroup, are made up of some of the most prolific figures in the music industry and rock world, Sammy Hager, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith. Essentially that band is made up of the bones of Van Halen and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Monsters of Folk and its’ members are cut from a different cloth. Made up of some very talented men, the guys that constitute the Monsters of Folk are much less prolific then the men who make up the roster for Chicken Foot. Jim James of My Morning Jacket was very much responsible for the eclectic and richly performed tracks off of My Morning Jacket’s last album Evil Urges, (the track Librarian is especially odd and enjoyable, highly recommended). He and Matt Ward of M. Ward and She & Him make up the notables of this group. There is of course Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, they round out the foursome, though they are lesser known by most.

So what makes the Monsters of Folk more a supergroup with a small ‘s’? Is that the members are not exactly household names? Well… yes. But that is not a bad thing, as a band these men make an indie powerhouse, their talent is not in question and what they have produced together is much more diverse than what they have done on their own.

The Monsters of Folk’s self-title album is full of articulate well conceived songs. Each track taking a bit of the greatness from one of the contributors. Just because this band is a minor supergroup does not mean that it will be over should be. The Monsters of Folk exude what the current nature of indie folk world has to offer. Perhaps if one of the members of Fleet Foxes made an appearance then the experiment would be complete, but that is just wishful thinking. As it stands though, the album itself leaves you at some points craving more musical exploration in stead of lyrical exercises in folk lore. The highlights of the album come directly from M. Ward’s contribution on the vocal front. Every song in which Matt sings we find ourselves listening more attentively. If you do not believe in or are not aware of the current indie folk movement going on in the world today then this album will give you an idea of what is going on. Folk rock has become more accessible over the past few years and it is primarily due to the contributions of the men that make up this not so small ‘s’ supergroup. Absolutely pick up this album for these tracks, Tamazacal, The Right Place, Baby Boomer, Ahead of the Curve, Slow Down Jo, Sandman, The Brakeman and Me and His Master’s Voice.

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