Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ep 49 - Song 3: "Helionauts" by Mad Monks

"Mad Monks combine vintage psychedelic progressive blues rock with the most deadly and forbidden forms of kung fu...

"I'm BATMAN! That is to say, WE are Batman. BATMEN 'R' US!...

"Mad Monks. Word, MONEY! For anyone who wishes Robert Fripp was a member of The Wu Tang Clan, we hope to fill that void."
- from their Facebook page

"The first thing that hit me about these guys is how they really conjure up that early '70's heavy psych feel. I'm not saying it sounds dated (and I would have had zero problems with that anyway)... but it really does have that over all essence of '70s psychedelic heavy rock. If you like stuff like Sir Lord Baltimore or the Pink Faries you will most likely get into these guys. Heck, these cats are a lot better than Atomic Rooster.

"There almost seems to be some kind of alchemical process at work here. James Edel's guitar snakes, twists and spirals around into a slow burn intensity and then seers. Truly some great psychedelic playing here. Matt Larson weaves in some real funky groove rhythms with his bass lines and Eric Dirks drums almost seem like he's playing jazz. Add Matt Larson's vocals into the mix and it all comes together into a cohesive solid sound that hits in all the right places. It's heavy yeah, but not necessarily in an immediate sense, there is a certain almost subtle intensity to it at times. I could almost expect to hear this on some cool film noir soundtrack. Like I said psychedelic, but also containing the right amounts of underlying funk and jazz elements that make this its own kind of animal. I have heard a number of bands try to do what these guys do. Many, probably most, fall flat. These guys have a real solid sound and pretty good musical chops.
- from a review on Bigfoot Diaries

"Vocals often evoke the elastic, psychedelic blues-rock wail of Cream's Jack Bruce, while the instrumental portion taps an aggressive mix of Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy (whose blistering over-amped guitar runs influenced and outlasted those seminal power-trios), the first incarnation of prog-godz King Crimson and the high-octane jazz fusion workouts of John McLauglin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. The sound is terrific, and the band's chops, timing and razor-sharp interaction are all impressive." - from Jim Musser of The Iowa City Press Citizen

"The New Story of the Mad Monks:

"This is the way the world begins, not with a band but a whimper...

"Deep in the emptiness, nothing stirred for ages. Blackness, or was it whiteness, protruded eternally and none were there to witness that which was not. In The Abyss, a hum quietly erupted and laid waste to the illusion of the void. It seemed we were not alone after all. Reaching beyond this electric illumination, a single finger tapped out a fretted note as if to say, 'Join us in awakening.' It was not long before the others gathered, rapping upon warped metals and seducing swells of harmony from their long silent homes.

"'One member born, apart from the rest, and May the 13th stood forever blessed.
In darkness that stretches the flair light was lit, those in tuned to the void opened eyes to a squint,
The beacon resounds with a sunburst profound,
The madness is misleading, but is never lost ground..."
-From "Prophecies of a Mad Monk," Author Unknown

"Less Dramatic Bio:

"Mad Monks formed ages ago, in 2006. Heavily influenced by early seventies prog-rock and blues, the quartet coalesced in the shape of drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards. The group experimented for a long time using King Crimson and Hendrix as launching pads to solidify the chemistry of the group. The music of the Monks quickly evolved into the highly structured psychosis that we have all grown to love.

"In 2008, keyboardist Jon Barder left to pursue other interests (life), and the Monks reverted to a trio. As a three-piece the monks again refined their sound, writing and editing old and new compositions until it was perceived that recording was necessary. In September of 2010, Mad Monks hit the ground running with the aid of Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios and recorded their first album. Ten tracks were interwoven and laid down to create a single artistic picture. This mixed material was then sent to Carl Saff Mastering in Chicago and the album is due to be released in January of 2011.

"During the recording process, certain melodic ideas were explored that required a fourth party to replicate live. In the hopes of recreating the sound the Monks achieved on this first album, they decided the time had come to officially enlist another member. In November of 2010, Sage Satterfield was ritually inducted into the Monastery, and the current Mad Monks were created."
-from their SoundCloud page

James Edel - Lead Guitar
Matt Larson - Lead Bass Guitar, Vocals
Eric Dirks - Lead Guitar, Drums



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