As far as smaller UK pop-punk bands go, Montrose are one of the highlights. The Bath four-piece have only been around for a couple of years, but they’ve certainly been popping up on the radar in the Southwest quite a lot. Debut EP ‘If Only You Knew’ was a more than capable release that formed a springboard to stardom that was just asking to be jumped on. 2015 sees the sophomore effort in the form of ‘Monster Under The Bed’.
‘Monster Under The Bed’ is a very different release to ‘If Only You Knew’. While the 2014 effort was brimmed full of instantly enjoyable songs like ‘High Horse’ and ‘Saintly If You Say’, it takes a couple of spins for ‘Monster Under The Bed’ to really stick in your head. The easycore sound that provided a fun atmosphere has passed in favour of a more modern pop-punk sound along the lines of Transit and Title Fight.
Vocalist Jason Bishop‘s now trademark over pronunciation is once again in full force throughout ‘Monster Under The Bed’, providing a link to bands like Lower Than Atlantis or Don Broco. It’s a style that works well with Montrose‘s overall sound on tracks like ‘Walking Contradiction’ and ‘Blush’. As for fans of the older material, it’s not really until EP closer ‘Fit For A King’ that any sort of palm mute or angry roar rears its head, and it’s on this track that Montrose really sound most at home.
But for the enjoyable tunes on ‘Monster Under The Bed’, there are a few disappointments. The mix is clumsy in places meaning the synth and guitars tend to blend into each other now and then. There are also bridges in songs that come across as muddled, impacting on the charm that ‘If Only You Knew’ brought with its instant likability.
Montrose are a top band that deserve to go places in this business. Their live arsenal is what is setting them ahead of the opposition as well, so you’d be well advised to catch them at a show near you as soon as possible.
Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)