We had to wait a bit longer than expected, but here it is, the new CD from The Monotrol Kid, ‘my talk, my song’ the follow-up to ‘What about the Finches’ and the ep ‘The Merchant’ that blew us away last year.
The ep had already let the cat out of the bag, The Monotrol Kid, here as a foursome have a fuller sound than in the past. It is no longer Elliot Smith but more like Wilco, The Jayhawks and Blitzen Trapper.
The four songs from the ep also appear on this album but in a different version with a much brighter production, although Luc Weyntiens ensured that the raw, honest sound was not lost. And even better, the distinctive voice of Erik Van den Broeck comes to the fore and the band which Van den Broeck has gathered around him brings out the very best of those songs.
The Misty Morning Song is one of the songs that was also on the ep. It screams urgency with the lyrics “There’s no more time to be wasted / no more days for you to spend.” The Monotrol Kid is ready to take over the world.
This should happen with the new single The Horse Ride, certainly one of the strongest songs on the album. It represents all that The Monotrol Kid has to offer, narrative songs with fantastic guitar riffs and a backpack filled with melancholy and loneliness but with a underlying sense of freedom.
Film fans and in particular those who loved 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' will most likely have a goose bump moment with Funeral Blues. This poem written by W.H. Auden was recited in the film and is used here on the album as the lyric to a haunting song about the heartbreaking loss of a loved one.
The Way To Go proves that this is no longer a solo project. The Monotrol Kid may not know which way to go but he let guitarist Dries Vanhove write this one with him and you can hear that in the melodies and guitar sounds that they have created together.
However that feeling of loneliness lies in wait, especially in the harmonica solo in Dream. The melancholy washes over you and the guitar solo in the middle cuts deep.
The centerpiece of the album is formed by the very strong trio of The Merchant Song, Ballad For The Mountain and Tuscan Moon and leads you to the up-tempo number The River Song which features the house in Kapelle op den Bos where the guitars take over again. Next we have Home, written by his girlfriend Ireen Stanford who incidentally also took the cover photos.
This Man and the subtle Your Voice bring this wonderfully honest album to a close and we can be clear about one thing: the expectations that were awakened with ‘The Merchant’ have been easily fulfilled.
Check out this unjustly little-known artist in the AB Club on Saturday 31 May.
09 Mei 2014 Marc Alenus
In : Review