Last time These Monsters released an album, it was the impressive Call Me Dragon, an album made up of seven lengthy, proggy instrumental pieces of sludge rock recorded on vintage equipment. On its follow up, Heroic Dose, the band do not appear to be interested in repeating themselves one bit. The longest song on offer here clocks in at just under four minutes. There is also singing, in a manner of speaking.
The album opens up with a hard hitting, doomy, crescendo laden intro before launching straight into Very Strong, Very Clever; a song that incorporates scuzzy punk guitar tones and a vocal style that would not sound out of place on a record by The Bronx. It is almost like someone has stirred the band out of their more cerebral pretentions and directed them to their more primal, instinctual urge to just rock.
The album is relentless. With little to no time to catch breath, These Monsters launch straight into their tongue-in-cheek recent single When the Going Gets Weird which fuses humour with this new punk sound. The guitar riffs are jagged and twisting, and the chorus is Godzilla-sized, endlessly memorable and outrageously funny.
The album carries on in this barbed fashion, taking no prisoners with the excellently titled Punk Floyd, the snarling drum workout of Same Sex Scene and Live Some, previewed about a year ago, which is seemingly fit to burst with riffs and ideas. If the all-out attack gets a little much, there is the slightly (but only very, very slightly) more refined minor key rock of One of Those Creeps, which has an almost Surf Rock middle eight. It is a thrilling listen.
If you could level one criticism at These Monsters and Heroic Dose, you could say that the album stays more or less at one dynamic the whole way through. There is very little respite from the head kicking, tooth rattling assault that this band deliver astonishingly well. On Heroic Dose, These Monsters have stopped stroking their beards, laid off the spliffs and made an album which just flat out rocks. These Monsters have taken their place amongst the current crop of immensely exciting independent rock bands that the UK seems to be churning out at pace at the moment.
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