Written by Fantsama el Rey
Monsters Are Waiting could definitely have some monster success waiting for them if luck and promotion serve them well. The band form a strong unit, combining elements of great alternative bands from the 1980s that one can clearly hear from just one spin of their debut CD. A solid danceable beat, steady bass drive and some razor sharp guitar hooks prove that these cats have the talent, as is evident on this entertaining, well-moving forty-two minute disk
Fascination opens with “Last Goodbye” giving us our first look at lead singer Annalee Fery’s wonderful vocals and excellent delivery, which are sublime, yet filled with attitude and strength. It stands out right away for its catchy guitar and bass opening, very reminiscent of work by New Order. The lyrics to this one hit me as well, with lines such as “it’s hard to admit it/ this could be are last goodbye/hearts are breaking/ don’t ask why” and “carried away/ thoughts of you / I can’t sleep tonight” which say plenty with just a few simple words.
The title track “Fascination” starts off with that heavy drumbeat that is subdued, yet steady and sounds as if it’s bubbling under, waiting to burst; which they do in the middle of the song, coming alive and moving to the front. Following the drums are more driving bass and guitar work, add Annalee’s vocals that start slow, low and then explode with some wonderful “aahh aahh”s and the track sends you spinning.
“Nobody” has the band mellowing out a bit, while losing none of their strength. On “Ha Ha” and “Don’t Go” the drums kick into overdrive and again have me foot-stomping and head-nodding. “Don’t Go” finds our heroine singing the title line with feeling and more hardcore attitude, giving us a sense that even though she’s asking someone not to go, she is still very strong and almost sarcastic.
“Christine” popped out at me because the bass and drum remind me of Pere Ubu’s “Life Stinks”, which is a punk rock classic. Again, Annalee’s vocal wanderings are very well placed at times through out this track. “Monsters” finds the band in a somewhat more playful vibe, beginning with a peppy guitar and more happy-sounding bass runs, complete with a marching drum kick; the vocals here are in high spirits as well. The tune gives off an almost sixties pop sound.
Overall, Fascination is a strong album that I haven’t found a weak point in yet. The length of the album and songs make it very enjoyable to spin over and over again, which any ghoulie that follows my ramblings will know as my mark of an exceptionally excellent recording, so I’m sure that says something in itself.
I have also had the opportunity to see Monsters Are Waiting live and had a blast. Interesting to note of the band in concert, is that halfway through their set the guitar and bass players will change instruments and still perform flawlessly. These cats are truly professional with the sound and style that they have chosen to play, drawing from past masters such as New Order, Stone Roses and the Pixies; when I saw them live, they even closed with a Stone Roses tune, “I Wanna Be Adored”. With luck, Monsters Are Waiting will find success in the modern rock field alongside other bands such as the Bravery and the Dead 60s with a similar “turn back the clock” sound.