Sunday 10 June 2018


What's in a name? Well if your band started life flying under the banner Monolith only to find out later that there are at least a gazillion and one other "Monolith's" doing the rounds, then Desert Psychlist expects quite a lot, especially after you've released two EP's and an album under that name. Still these things happen and having realised their predicament the quartet from Modena, Italy have added the word "Grows!" to their title. It's the same band, the same sound but with a slightly longer name, just check out their new release "Black and Supersonic" (Burning Wax Productions) if you need reassurance.

Part heavy metal rockers, part fuzz driven stoners and part angsty grunge groovesters Monolith Grows! are a band who cover a lot of bases and cover them all well. It might seem, from someone looking in from the outside, that a band incorporating so many styles and elements into their sound would have to make certain musical compromises to accommodate them all but thankfully this is not the case. Monolith Grows!, Andrea Marzoli (guitar/vocals), Enrico Busi (bass/vocals), Massimiliano Codeluppi (guitar) and Riccardo Becero Cocetti (percussion), manage to swing back and forth between Alice In Chains-like slurring grooviness on "Ultraviolet In The Clear Sky" and " Low", to Kyuss/QOTSA-esque quirky desert swagger, "You're Gone","Satan Monday Bureau"(featuring House of Broken Promises Joe Mora) and "So Fresh", while on the way touching on old school classic rock and metal with "Here Comes The Hero", Silly Gods" and "Above the Doubts", managing to inject elements from all these influences and more into their grooves without ever losing sight their own unique sound, even when stepping outside of the box, as on the ambient "Interlude With Synths and Clean Guitar". The Nirvana-esque "Empire of Dirt" that closes proceedings rounds up ,what is for Desert Psychlist, a very interesting and highly enjoyable album and an  opus that will resonate with many of those listeners brought to today's heavy underground music via Seattle's mid eighties/early nineties alt/grunge scene.

"Black and Supersonic" is not an overly heavy album, but it does have it's heavy moments, neither could it be considered mellow and laid back, yet it has those moments to, what Monolith Grows! have created here is an album that ticks all the right boxes and is a damn fine collection of extremely well written and performed rock songs..... and that is something worth checking out.....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

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