Monks of Doom basks in the weird. The largely Camper Van Beethoven side project sounds like exactly that. “The Bronte Pin” is their first proper album since 1993 and you would never know it by listening to it. It is filled with interesting textures and a variety of different styles.
On “Up From The Cane” you’ll hear them at their most ferocious. It’s aggressive art rock that really shows its teeth. The vocals growl here making it stand out among its peers on the album. Don’t think that this is a theme on “The Bronte Pin” though because immediately preceding it on the record is a combustible instrumental track named “Duat! Duat!” that is almost 6 minutes of meandering ambient rock. It sound like about 4 different styles of music all trapped in a trash bag and they are all trying to pull their own directions. Those two songs are anything but relaxed and that theme IS echoed throughout the album. Each track seems to build its own tension here. On “The Bastards Never Show Themselves” you’ll get a Pink Floyd feel with the vocals lurking below the surface of the music that eerily follows its own path. Some straight up raunchy guitar rock can be found on another instrumental, “23rd Centruy Hard Bop” where the Monks once again are dicing genres and constantly shifting the tempo of the song. This song is groove oriented but the whole song finds the band intentionally trying to push it as far as they can without breaking it.
Musically this is an extremely interesting album, it’s aloof, loose and style shifting but still holds as an interesting listen.
Key Tracks: “Duat! Duat!” “Up From The Cane” “23rd Century Hard Bop”