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EP Review: Only Monsters "Smiling on an Unkind Planet"

In the wild and unruly kingdom of indie music, emerges a creature of musical brilliance — Only Monsters. Led by an elusive maestro who moonlights as an everyday teacher, Only Monsters is the brainchild of a musical savant determined to unleash their inner beasts upon the world. "Smiling on an Unkind Planet" made landfall on January 19th, an expedition into the realms of post-punk, darkwave, and a dash of other genres.

The face of a man in silhouette against a black background. Only Monsters, as fetured on Its Indie and we know it.
Only Monsters

Picture this: a lone musician, armed with instruments and a day job, weaving musical spells in the quiet hours when monsters typically roam. The debut album, "Influence," was the initial growl, a lo-fi adventure that marked the arrival of Only Monsters onto the indie scene. "Smiling on an Unkind Planet," beckons us to delve deeper into the creature's lair, promising an atmospheric tapestry where post-punk and darkwave dance in harmonious disarray.

As we embark on this musical safari, the EP unfurls its themes like mythical creatures emerging from the shadows. It's a journey of introspection in the face of existential drama, a quest through the consistent torrent of political upheaval that has somehow become the new normal. Only Monsters, the musical cryptid, uses this EP as a thesis—a bold proclamation of what's to come in the shape of an album later in 2024.

So brace yourselves for the arrival of "Smiling on an Unkind Planet." Whether you're a nocturnal creature of the indie music realm or a curious onlooker, the EP promises an auditory expedition through the uncharted territories of Only Monsters' musical universe.

Track One: Smiling On An Unkind Planet

In the shadowy realms of Only Monsters' EP, the opening track, aptly titled "Smiling On An Unkind Planet," emerges as a sorcerer's incantation. Enveloped in a cloak of darkness and moodiness, ethereal drums set the stage, a rhythmic heartbeat echoing through the abyss. Sparse guitars, like distant whispers, paint an atmospheric canvas, setting the scene for a rhythmic drum takeover. The vocals, a dance between assertion and vulnerability, add a haunting charm, a reflection of the turbulent emotions within. As the bass guitar strides confidently, its melody weaves a thread of familiarity into the unknown. This track, with its bold elements, introduces us to the EP's haunting journey, leaving us both unsettled and captivated in its enigmatic embrace.

Track Two: Only Monsters

Next up, prepare yourself for the musical rollercoaster that is "Only Monsters," the second track on the EP. This up-tempo indie rock anthem propels us into a foot-tapping frenzy, driven by a catchy guitar riff that's destined to be etched in our musical memory. The vocals, deep and resounding, carry a pitch-perfect imperfection, adding a touch of authenticity to the indie rock journey. As the melodies unfold, there's a delightful quirkiness to the vocals, a charming deviation from the expected, making each note an unpredictable delight. Amidst the guitar-fuelled chaos, whispered messages emerge in the background, akin to clandestine secrets shared in the shadows. "Only Monsters" is a spirited journey, a foot-tapper that beckons us into the realm where indie rock and mystery collide.

Track Three: I'm Trying

As we approach the final chapter of Only Monsters' odyssey, "I'm Trying" unveils itself as a poignant and evocative slow-tempo ballad. Opening with the comfort of familiar guitar and bass sounds, the track gently lures us into its embrace. However, don't be deceived by the calm, for when the chorus descends, a wall of sound crashes over us, echoing the desperate refrain of "I'm trying." The words resonate in the background, carrying the weight of an earnest struggle, a musical expression of heartfelt determination. As the song unfolds, a subtle evolution transpires, and the atmosphere transforms into a kind of punk vibe — an unexpected yet exhilarating twist in the tale. "I'm Trying" stands as a testament to the nuanced emotions Only Monsters masterfully weaves into their tapestry, leaving listeners both introspective and invigorated.

It's evident that Only Monsters' "Smiling on an Unkind Planet" pays a poignant homage to the iconic sounds of Joy Division. The vocals, akin to the haunting resonance of Ian Curtis, add a layer of emotional depth, while the bass, echoing the unmistakable style of Peter Hook, provides a familiar anchor. The guitars, with a nod to early New Order capture the essence of a musical era while adding a unique touch. This subtle yet powerful nod to the post-punk legends infuses the EP with a timeless quality, making it a captivating journey for those familiar with the classics and a fresh exploration for those encountering these influences for the first time.

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Very great review , no wonder you have such a large fanbase your writing skills i love

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