Review: Monsters Of Folk – Monsters Of folk

Monsters Of Folk – Self Titled

Okay, so I’m going to admit I didn’t have a lot of hope for this, after all it is a super group. Albeit a super group comprising of Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes, Jim James from My Morning Jacket, and M. Ward. But still despite this, a super group nevertheless. From the start of the album it’s not nearly as playful as the title & lead single would have you believe. Gorgeous and soulful “Dear god (Sincerely M.O.F)” is a perfect start and perfectly representative of the surprising nature of this album, even if they did shoehorn a reference to that crappy name of theirs into the title it’s still majestic.

From then on the album bounces to folk-rock lead single “Say Please” and the slightly mis-judged “Whole lotta loosing” leads us on to stand out track “Temazcal” in which they hand the reigns to Conor Oberst to great effect, most likely because it sounds like a Bright Eyes song put through the Monsters Of Folk ringer a good few times, “Man Named Truth” is really very good as soon as you accept it. What strikes you throughout much of this album isn’t just the perfect composition or the masterful guitar work but the lyrics entwined around each song. More and more I get the feeling it would be a waste of everyone’s time if I kept on listing from here, here’s the long of the short of it.

Its very good, far better than it deserves to be, which is blaspheme considering I’m one of those people who believe Conor Oberst can do no wrong but just look at that fucking name! And that horrific artwork which makes all of them look like burn victims in some kind of horrific Celtic Victorian fancy dress accident. Regardless of this it’s clear a few songs in, and spelled out in huge letters by the end that they work together perfectly. Sure it lulls occasionally and two or three songs are completely forgettable but unlike so many other “Super groups” they’ve done this for honourable reasons, not just because they can and not for the cash (I can’t imagine this going to number one, after all it isn’t an 80’s throwback) but because it’s a really good record. Bravo