Mickey Monster is a rock band with members from Kauai, HI and Seattle, WA. It is no wonder that the band is able to draw from the influences of these two realms, going on to incorporate a classic island reggae ska vibe with mainland modern rock on their debut self-titled album Mickey Monster.
Mickey Monster starts off with “Kalypso,” where the band right from the start brings in the Caribbean flavors with steel drums. The mixture of percussions and beats makes for an inviting sound that embraces a great island vibe, mixing reggae with a modern rock sound. The melding is just right. This felt like something great to listen to while relaxing on a beach-y front somewhere. More island flavors are unleashed here on “Hawaiian Punch.” The soft vocal harmonies evoke a soothing sound. The band’s reggae influences could really be felt here. I felt carried away by the music. A blissful island feel makes another appearance on “I’m Not Crazy (I’m Just In Love).” The sounds of bongos give off an ear-pleasing pulse. The acoustic guitar underlines this track. The combined vocal harmonies feel very dynamic. The song blends in soulful R&B with a tropical and reggae flavor.
Sparse guitar riffs sound off on “There’s A Rainbow.” Next, a drumming beat struts in. More steel drums include an island pulse. The vocals sound softer here and due to the subdued execution, it was hard to make out the lyrics. Perhaps more attention in this area would benefit the band. The guitars are touched with a dash of psychedelic and the distorted effects recall a surf and garage rock vibe. Finger-picking on the electric guitar makes for a stark introduction on “Monkey Feet.” The sound meanders for a bit. Next, the drums and percussions come in. The vocals sound slightly off-key here. Not sure if that’s the band’s intent but this became distracting at times. Driven guitars make for a hard-hitting sound toward the start of “Space Force Dropout.” The combined vocal harmonies point to an energized sound. The vibe here sounds heavier, heading into grunge and metal territory. The more aggressive-fueled sounds made for a harder rock vibe.
“My Sweet Angel” felt like the ballad out of the bunch with the lead singer sweetly singing about his “angel.” This felt like a song that plays up to the impulses of a hopeless romantic. On “A Man Sitting Under A Tree,” reggae-inspired guitars really bring in a tropical flavor. Heavy guitars add an intense element to what otherwise would be a laid-back number. The sounds of organ are a nice addition toward the start of “More Than You Will Ever Know.” The vocals are somber-sounding at first. Then a touch of theatrical aspect factors into the performance. Giant sounding guitars eventually roll in. This felt like a straight rock-based sound with embellishments on the xylophone to give off the band’s signature sound of Caribbean flavors. This is another example of the band’s excellent sound.
Filled with tons of flavorful party sounds, this type of music will get you in the mood for a beach-y bash jam. The band displays great chemistry as you can feel all the members each meshing with each other’s frequencies to give a well-executed album with many feel-good and uplifting flavors. I greatly enjoyed the positive energy here and this is definitely something I will come back to frequently. Fans of reggae, ska and rock will be delighted to find a band that mixes all these genres and well too. I think this album successfully blends in different genres and styles to create a new sound worth exploring from start to finish. This is a great start and I look forward to seeing more in a follow-up release.
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