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Monks Kitchen - Music from the Monks Kitchen

  by Lisa Torem

published: 4 / 12 / 2013

Monks Kitchen - Music from the Monks Kitchen
Label: Wonderful Sound
Format: CD


Heartfelt but undisciplined combination of 60's-influenced garage and folk pop on second album from London-based band, the Monks Kitchen

The Monks Kitchen debut 'The Wind May Howl' was recorded in less than a week. Their follow-up 'Music from the Monks Kitchen' took half a decade, during which time the band kept a hermit-like and gig-free existence. This album is really a curious mix of all things - the unwavering, disarming vocals bear a strong similarity to Iron and Wine; the harmonies often recall early Simon and Garfunkel and the sometimes fabulous but often unfocused guitar work sounds like the Ventures meets Johnny Cash and that's all extremely positive! The themes are heartfelt and to the point - "Don't lay awake, my love," we hear against a shuffle rhythm and bright, clean harmonies. There is the chiming of a spontaneous blues harp colouring a few stanzas, and early on, an homage to smooth jazz. The sonic adventure even begins with the affirming, "Get the main sail going..." Aspects of love are exposed in multiple ways: "I feel for you/All that I've put you through," until, finally, "Nothing will break the spell." The album also includes some country-soaked moments and knee-slapping rhythms and, throughout, reams of soaring vocals. This is an evocative collection with strong potential and it could be a dynamic album except that many of the short, scrappy themes are begging for expansion, instrumentally and vocally. Their hearts are so in the right place, but the Monks Kitchen need to crank open the windows a bit wider and feel the cold sting of inclement weather. Even the most talented of us all could benefit from a handful of discipline. That said, there are some wonderful moments here and many more just waiting to be consolidated...

Track Listing:-
1 On a Dark Black Ocean
2 Dark Ramble
3 O'Melancholy
4 Black Park
5 Anyhow
6 Hollow of the Night
7 The Raven
8 Dawn Song
9 Don't Lie Awake
10 Tired Eyes
11 Whirlwind
12 Instrumental X
13 I Wanna Go
14 Bluebird
15 III Legged Dog
16 Up on the Breeze
17 Red and Gold
18 Instrumental V

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