Local Review: The Monarchs – The Depth
Local Music Reviews
The Monarchs The Depth
Self-Released Street: 09.13.19 The Monarchs = Radiohead + Deep Purple
Salt Lake City–based band The Monarchs have released their newest album, The Depth. Formed in 2015, their sound is overarchingly hard rock with travels into experimentation with doom and psych genres, compiling it all into a shoegaze-like structure. Also rooted in ’70s rock’ n’ roll, this band plays with an array of variations on society’s sonic eras with elements of complex improvisation.
The title track, “The Depth,” begins with Pink Floyd-esque sound bites and a chorus-heavy guitar melody, developing the start of an eerie picture. Drums suddenly start to play around the tune, eventually meshing in time for longing vocals to take the center. Ominous whispers and screams, among other doomy effects, dive deeper into expanding this song’s range and wrap the listener up in a comfortable dissonance. It ends with a return to the clean alternative guitar lead before dipping back into heavy distortion and creepy noises.
In “Tumbleweed,” the fuzz-laden bass, paired with melody-driven guitar solos, complements the jungle-madness drums, pushing the energy of this song and kicking so much ass in the process. The drums are reminiscent of the power behind Matt Helders and Mitch Mitchell. The abrupt shifts between heavy jams, doom breakdowns and indie vocals all before the track heads into an anthemic punk chorus are pleasant punches to the face.
The Monarch’s other-worldly spin on early classic rock is demonstrated with “Traveler.” Groove is key in this ditty, with unison guitar and vocal melodies matching the track’s staggering drumbeats. The way the jamming switches between heavy and light makes me imagine traveling back to a time where I’m road tripping through the desert in anticipation to see Santana shredding and fighting his snake guitar while on acid at Woodstock .
The Depth gathers everything under the alternative rock sun and bundles it all together in these 10 tracks. Even with the live energy and long jam sessions, nothing on this record rings as spontaneously unstructured. Each song’s intent is purposeful in showing the depth of The Monarchs’ experimentation. This group is in sync with one another and their tight musical bond is clear throughout the album. —Kenz Waldon