Malice, the latest EP from California’s Bay Area hard rock outfit Modern Monsters, mirrors the band’s outlook on the state of societal issues – unrestrained power, a tiered judicial system, distractions from introspection, and the evaporation of love. Stream the album here.
Made up of Rich Well (guitar), Brody Bass (bass), Keenan Tuohy (drums), Josh Weaver (vocals), and Wyatt Lennon (guitar), Modern Monsters was formed in 2019. Eschewing the flatness of mainstream music, Modern Monsters’ sound amalgamates greasy, down-and-dirty rock with raw edginess, a sound conjuring up raging cogency, crawling with sinister secrets.
Comprising five tracks, highlights on the EP include “March 3, ’91,” the day Rodney King found himself at the mercy of the LAPD. Opening on ominous, dark tones, the tune ramps up to thick, pungent guitars dripping with murky hues. Weaver’s snarling, rasping vocals infuse the lyrics with bristling timbres.
Introduced by strident, slicing guitars, “Prism” flows into a straight-ahead rocker full of seething guitars topped by Weaver’s taut, restless voice. Vaguely reminiscent of Alice in Chains, the song hums with viscous momentum.
Modern Monsters’ version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” reveals clotted, grimy guitars riding bashing percussion as Weaver’s vocals project intense intonations of grimacing potency, ranging from rough and abrasive to high, scorching pitches. Blistering guitar licks give the tune fiery incandescence.
The final track, “Greed Machine,” summons up suggestions of Scorpions crossed with Faith No More, pumping out visceral washes of gut-wrenching harmonics flavoured by hints of blues. Simultaneously dreamy and wailing, Weaver’s voice boosts the lyrics with pulverizing brio.
Laced with crazy, gritty ferocity, Malice reeks of palpable emotions, atavistic and biting, like a storm of sonic suppuration.
Malice Track Listing:
1. March 3, ‘91
3. Road to Nowhere
4. White Rabbit
5. Greed Machine
Run Time: 19:06
Release Date: March 24, 2023
Record Label: Waiting For Peri Records