Article by KevW
It's been getting on for two years since we first heard Portland group Rare Monk. They stood out then, so it's pleasing to find that nothing's changed in that department. With a new self-titled EP freshly released, the quintet are sounding on fine form with a fully-realised sound and plenty of hooks to snag you and reel you in. Single 'California' leads the EP and wastes no time in getting down to business, opening with a guitar solo, something which Dinosaur Jr. (and the awesome Sad Day For Puppets) are known for, and there is a little bit of both bands about the intro.
Those comparisons end there though, because Rare Monk have a more expansive sound that verges on arena-rock but never oversteps the mark, making sure it's classy and uplifting rather than full of empty bluster. You can detect the influence of '90s alt-rock too, particularly that from the US, but 'California' will perhaps have a wider appeal than many of the artists they can be compared to. Being both contagious and alternative can lead to great success, but judging whether that will be the case is a lottery (and generally depends on certain industry people and organisations deciding whether or not they want to make you successful). Rare Monk are fully deserving of any good fortune that comes their way, and they have the ability to deliver.
Rare Monk's website
Buy the EP
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