In the Hollow of a Wave

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Karisma Records, 2021)

Karakter: 4.5/6

MONSTEREO album cover.jpgNorwegian rockers Monstereo offer something a little out of the ordinary in the sense that their refreshing and vital-sounding mixture of all things psychedelic and spacey is quite easy to lose oneself in and be carried away by. Imagine if early 70s Deep Purple got together with Hawkwind and then invited the guys from Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age to jam along - perhaps that would give you an inkling of what these energetic (and musically unpredictable) dudes are all about and what the vibe is like throughout.  

With an emphasis on big and juicy riffs, "In the Hollow of a Wave" strikes me as being a slightly groovier and also a more dynamic and charming affair than its predecessor. Only an idiot would claim that these guys are incapable of conjuring up an otherworldly, desert-like soundscape that is as entertaining to immerse oneself in as it is cleverly crafted. Things appear playful and energetic throughout and they most certainly are, but make no mistake, the rhythm section is tight and punchy, and on top of that, the record rarely loses its focus or direction. Thankfully, you will neither get a bunch of doped-up solos that last for 27 minutes nor any unnecessary musical detours that lack purpose and meaning. What about standouts and highlights then? Well, the most memorable parts of the album are undoubtedly the melancholy, hazy-sounding epic "Wings I: Everlasting Darkness" and the hard-hitting "Wings III: Icarus". The latter features one of the coolest and most raunchy riff that I have come across for a while, but in general, there are plenty of meaty tunes to sink your teeth into here. 

"In the Hollow of a Wave" is infectious thanks to its incredibly appealing atmosphere and its strong, powerful riffs, but you need to spin it quite a few times in order to allow it to melt your brain in a satisfactory manner. Although there are a few instances where I think the vocals leave a little something to be desired in terms of sounding truly gritty and also reaching for the higher notes on occasion, this invigorating slab of kick-ass rock music ought to be added to your record collection or playlist as soon as it hits the street in mid-September. It might not be the most inventive output of the year, but what you get is passionately crafted rock music that means fucking business - and I like that!


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