Review: Monark – “Monark”


Review by Kegan Gaspar.

Monark splashed onto the South African music scene in 2015 with their debut album, Negatives. Their debut offered a sound that was distinctly their own, and we now find them building on this distinct sound in 2017 with their self-titled second album.

Monark leans more towards the electronic than its predecessor did, with its catchy beats and uncluttered musical layerings. It’s clear that the band have found a sound that suits them and it seems fitting that it is named after the band.

Although people might lean more towards the album’s lead single, the laid back and admittedly underwhelming “Broken”, the album contains some of the bands most intriguing works.

The album offers a collection of works that get to the point, free from any clutter and distortion. The concise production of each song has resulted in infectious works that compliment frontman Eugene Coetzer’s unique vocals and will undoubtedly be the source for many club and bar jams for months to come.

The opening song, “Lonely Light”, shows the band at their most punchy. It is hard not to fall into the song’s darker tone and is a wonderful highlight among the catchy tunes of the album.

Another highlight can be found in the album’s third track, “Glancing”, which is arguably the album’s most danceable song and provides an interesting insight into self-conscious moments spent in a club or public space.

The album might be geared towards appealing towards a larger audience, but this has not sacrificed the authenticity of the works. The album showcases Monark at their most honest, authentic and vulnerable, which is highlighted by songs like “Lonely Light”, “Glancing”, “Show Me The Love”, and the piercing “Show House”.

Overall, Monark’s second album highlights the band direction into a more promisingly authentic direction. The album moves the band into a more simplistic and de-cluttered space without sacrificing their signature stamp.