MONSTER RALLY | Coral LP
Monster Rally’s newest record, “Coral”, is a collection of songs drawing from a wide range of influences — jazz, calypso, electronica and free-form instrumentation across repeated rhythms and beats. In a way, this band reminds me of the ever-fascinating and oddball repertoire of San Francisco’s Tipsy. There are island maracas, along with looped samples, hypnotic percussion, strange found sounds, wild arpeggios, synth-flutes, and recorded water drips — all boundless and elegant as a child ballerina lost in reverie. Some songs are barely two minutes long, and none lasts longer than four minutes. It’s music meant to be enjoyed in brief states, before one track dissipates into the next. “Coral” plays like a Hawaiian surf vacation, mixed with Cuban mambo, Eastern mysticism and whispers of Indian spirituality. The music may seem simple at first, but it doesn’t take long to fall in love with its vision. It’s reflective and enveloping. Pretty diversions branch out into 1970s R&B grooves with amusement-park bells and whistles, congas, and spacey melodies that oscillate between 1950s noir and 1980s kitsch. The record combines so many eras of music together that it begins to feel as if it’s creating it’s own fictional time period. The differing elements are wrapped in a low-key vibe. “Coral” is a gathering of old and new Monster Rally songs, some taken from the group’s first three EPs, one self-titled, “Palm Reader”, and “Color Sky”. Monster Rally is the creative outlet for Ohio resident Ted Feighan — and the music he makes under that moniker is entrancing. “Coral” is available for digital download at Monster Rally’s bandcamp site. It will also be released on vinyl via Gold Robot Records on January 11th, 2010, but it’s limited to 250 copies. – David D. Robbins Jr.