Friday, September 10, 2010

Album Review: Battle Not With Monsters

battle not with monsters album art

The Durham rock followers are delightfully accustomed with the two person rock group. Minimalist duos such as Beloved Binge, Sequoya, and All Your Science are the glacier which has shaped the mountain into a lo-fi DYI garage rock destination for the best part of the decade. Now basking in the twilight glow of 2010, enter Battle Not With Monsters...Durham's most recent incarnation of the two man band. With their complex studio arrangements and resourceful vocal production however, this duo is everything except minimalist. Two microphones and two guitars are layered for thickness throughout their debut self titled album and each track suggests a varying skill set on the strings ranging from off kilter banjo picking to brilliant coma inducing electric guitar. The album's lead-off track "J20" exudes interesting as the slightly off center echo melody engages the mind while the fearless acoustic Neutral Milk Hotel chord banging grasps the soul.

So prominently positioned in their music and so emboldened to step forth and be seen, their charged political message represents a third character in the band. Harking folk music to the turbulent sixties, Battle carries a poignant anti-poli scorn that chomps at all who war monger. The soberly penned "Song About Freedom" and "Send You To War" are delivered with the passion and purpose of early Stones and Dylan bridging the timbre of 2010 with what this generation knows only from videos and documentaries of a time when folk music was its own political party. Like any emotionally charged rock song, its means for persuading the listener to understand the views of the performer are bound tightly to how easy the tune is to like and on this album, Battle presents us with a collection of tunes that put the toe tapping first, and the firm message closely behind. --Carrboro Ninja

Battle Not With Monsters will perform at the Carrboro Music Festival at 7 PM on September 26 on the Armadillo Grill upstairs stage and at Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro on Oct 1st.

Their self titled album Battle Not With Monsters is available to preview and purchase from CD Baby here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/battlenotwithmonsters

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