Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monahans - Dim The Aurora

Named for the West Texas sandhills, Austin-based Monahans are self described as "landscape rock-and-roll." The band's first release, Low Pining, found its way to various year-end favorites lists, with Magnet Magazine listing it as one of the "10 Hidden Treasures of 2007" and Harp Magazine calling it an "under-the-radar gem."

After hearing rough mixes of the sophomore album "glowing from the speakers," Monahans were picked up by Misra Records, who will release the band's second album, Dim The Aurora, this May. Here is some information straight from the source:
"Greg Vanderpool and bandmate Roberto Sánchez started making music in alt.country outfit Milton Mapes in 2001. After recording three full length albums and performing countless shows, the musicians had outgrown the very band they had created and realized the need to kick their alt.country habit and explore outside their comfort zone. They realized that what they were doing was so different that it deserved a new beginning, and Monahans was born.

Monahans’ first album, Low Pining (Undertow, 2007) was a promising transitional album that straddled the line between what Milton Mapes was doing and what Monahans was about to do. The standout of the album is clearly the song “Undiscovered”. A sweeping, glossy pop anthem, the song epitomized the band’s new vision. This single song marked a turning point for the band and provided a general blueprint for their second album, Dim The Aurora."
Low Pining's lack of boil-ability is nowhere to be found on Dim The Aurora, which contains more than one healthy moment of sizzle. "Slow Burn" is a smoky guitar-blues track that has rock radio written all over it, while the percussion-heavy "Fit For Fire" quickly builds into a turbulent guitar-horn spazz out.

The band's instrumental side (every Austin band has one) still shines through with the twenty-plus-minute exploration “Terrene,” where "human ambition and nature collide somewhere in a murky, mysterious spiritual realm." They even manage to sound like R.E.M gone folk with the album's title track.

Right around the time the album is released, Monahans will be hitting the road for a tour with Centro-matic. Austinites can catch the show on May 15th at the Parish.