Lake Monsters 'Thoughts Come Around Midnight'
It’s fair to say most high school bands become distant repressed memories that occasionally get brought up over a few beers many years down the track. There’s a list of reasons why people let go of their music dreams – whether it’s a change of image, change of direction or change of heart. But for a lucky few with big goals and a solid team, the myth of “muso life” can become a reality.
Lake Monsters celebrates the imperfect nature of music. The improvised jams and raw sounds make for a charming debut LP. Also, glockenspiels are amazing.
Hailing from Melbourne, Alex Benz and Daniel Faber were two of the lucky few to have their band grow with them, not apart. After coming together in 2010 over their high school’s weekly morning assembly (which, for the record, sounds much more appealing than my high school’s pre-recorded national anthem), they were joined by Alex’s brother Eric Benz. A few months later, Lake Monsters played their first show, armed with three original songs written in less than two weeks. Stick with me though, they have far more up their sleeve now!
Lake Monsters dive deep into the ambient sounds of post-rock, featuring an eclectic mix of unpredictable riffs, reverb and free improvisation with glockenspiels on their self-titled debut album. Citing influences from the likes of Kings of Leon, Bon Iverand Toe, the trio is aiming for greatness. Thoughts Come Around Midnight is a slow folk number highlighting the band’s ability to write meaningful melodies and harmonise perfectly. Half way through, the song takes a whimsical turn before the inclusion of a xylophone, and a short instrumental bridge starring the snare drum. Named as one of the band’s favourite tracks on the album, Thoughts Come Around Midnight is a nicely crafted song that flows surprisingly well considering the atmospheric journey you’re taken on.
The penultimate track, Cardinal Red, is a clear standout on the album. From the slow, hazy build up to a series of swift jagged riffs in the last 30 seconds, Cardinal Red is beautifully reminiscent of late-90s emo bands, such as American Football. The song take a minimal approach, highlighting clean instrumental melodies and swirling vocals. In just over three minutes of music, Lake Monsters demonstrate skill in their composition, sound and ability to create a world of ambience tightly pulling you in and not letting go until the final note has ended. Eric Speaks Danish completes the album, echoing this emo/alternative rock sound.
The standout characteristics of Lake Monsters’ music are the small nuances scattered in each song, whether it be the soft shaking of bells in Thoughts Come Around Midnight, the woozy vocals towards the end of Reigoldswil, or simply tearing paper while recording for a sound unique to their band. Lake Monsters celebrates the imperfect nature of music, enjoying improvised jams and unpolished raw sounds that give a more personal feel to the album, and despite their up and coming status, this is one outfit who writes years beyond their experience.