Introducing Montoneros – The ‘Heat Horse’ EP Review.
It’s a fine line between dreamy musicality and pretentious wank, and that line is even more blurred for genres like Math-Rock, which can often be overly self indulgent.
Luckily for Denver based band Montoneros, they are far more ear-wormy. Through including a brass section and mixing it up with instrumentation, they boast a melodic Math-Rock sound, plied with dreamy guitars and heartfelt vocals adept at creating a strong and meaningful atmosphere, more reminiscent of Florida’s Dikembe, than the high register and ear bleeding Emo vocals common in the early 2000’s.
This Denver based band already have two records under their belt, with Bikini Largo and the typical long titled album for this genre, If You Think You’re In The Wrong Place, You’re Probably Here. After all, what is a Math-Rock band without a long album title which’ll trip you up more when wasted than the booze you’ve consumed?
‘Cher The Wealth’, what a bloody title hey? As the heartbeat of the track comes in through the spacious kick drums at the beginning, colliding with cymbals, smashing any space of sound that the ears could’ve lingered onto, it creates a dreamy atmosphere for the guitars and bass to then flow through on their own way in.
The two guitars are beautifully intertwined, one being muddier and over driven, whilst the other is clean and reverby, they bounce of each other like embers from a bonfire. The vocals come from an apathetic Emo perspective, which lends it’s hands well to the melody and nonchalant romantic attitude of the song.
Unfortunately in some points of the song, the production clouds the vocals, so it’s hard to pick up on what he’s singing, but the melody itself is catchy and blends itself well to the song. The great surprise to this track was the brass section appearing half way through, symbolising the change of sections and giving away to some (again) dreamy vocal melodies. The instrumentation of the track is also near perfect, creating a great atmosphere and aesthetic, keeping the progression of the release on the fresh side.
With ‘Eye Of Macgyver’, an echoed bass leads the track into the dark and gloom, with the guitars using lightly picked notes, building up an atmosphere that would be fitting in a modern-day soundtrack for Psycho.
As your ears start to latch onto this vibe, it quickly descends into a jangly guitar tone, creating a circular motion and a slumbered dance feel. In great fashion, drums and distorted guitars kick-in, playing with the loud-to-quiet-to-loud formula, fitting well with the sleazy “grunged-out” chords blasted over the twinkling guitar as the drums pound away.
A call and response occasionally kicks in adding a frantic danceable vibe. This track has so much going on at any one time, that it’s hard not to like at least one section, especially as lyrically it opens up to a lack of enthusiasm for life proclaiming – ‘This rope will cut the air out my lungs, I’m fucking done’ and going to a ghostly falsetto at the end – ‘you said let go but it’s not enough‘.
‘Rams Blood’, can be described in the words of Jim Morrison, ‘Cars hiss past my window like the waves down at the beach‘. This song went for the more romantic of the two, opening up with waves down at the beach before a twinkly guitar delves its’ way into your ears.
The rest of the band kick in most prominently, the bass with a thumping travelling heart beat which makes your head want to bob along in that Slacker Rock-Indie fashion, fusing together with the kick drum. The over driven rhythm comes in travelling over the jingling guitar line but also playing delicately, with the two bouncing off each other.
Before you know it, it steps away from the romantic fashion to a high energy guitar line just bouncing among the frets backed by beefy chords. The song travels through these two motions almost interlinked creating a beautifully romantic notion, where the drums are able to go from a heartbeat pulse feel to a danceable vibe in the form of an Afrobeat stylistic, which is truly impressive.
Lyrically, ‘Ram’s Blood’ gives a heartfelt story about the loss of relationships, with lines such as – ‘You said I’d be over it but I’m turning more than I would like to admit‘. This final track is beautifully romantic and relaxed with everyone being on point, it also showcases the best in the vocals and production, with the higher clarity and pitch, making for more understandable and immersive listening.
Find the band via the links below:
- For updates, head to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- For streaming and videos, head to SoundCloud and their Youtube Channel.
- For this release and Montoneros’ recorded works to date, find them on bandcamp.