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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Krissy Matthews

Monster in Me

Review by Gary Hill

This set features a nice selection of songs. The music here works between hard bluesy rock, alternative, more melodic stuff and nearly metal songs. The vocals often make me think of Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon, and a couple songs call to mind the more rocking side of that band. I also make out quite a bit of Led Zeppelin here, along with other musical references. This is a solid collection of tunes.

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Track by Track Review
Level with the Devil
A distorted vocal opens this piece unaccompanied. The number fires out from there with a killer stoner rock meets old school rock and roll jam. The chorus is catchy and hard rocking. There is a real raunch and roll vibe to this number. The guitar soloing gets pretty intense before it's over and done.
Gotta Stay, Gotta Leave
This is even more firmly rooted in a classy roots based raunch and roll vibe. This has such a timeless sound to it. For some reason I'm reminded of what you might get if The Black Crowes jammed with Eddie Money.
Strange Ways
Coming in with more of a melodic country rock sound, this gets more powered up for sections. It remains largely mellower than a lot of the rest of the music here. The song structure is more mature and complex. There are some Zeppelin-like moments here.
Is This the Love I Think It Is?
Zeppelin-like bluesy rocking sounds are on the menu here. This is real powerhouse stomper.
Long Haul Flight
Southern rock is a big part of this. The cut makes me think of REO Speedwagon in a lot of ways, particularly on the verses. It's solid, but not one of the highlights.
The Girl That Lied
A mainstream rocker, there are some hints of reggae on this tune. The vocal hooks are solid. This is another that has some hints of REO built into it. I dig some of the guitar riffing on this a lot, but the song is another that lands in the "also ran" category.
Paranoid Prison
Energized and hard rocking, this is classic in sound. It's a lot of fun. It's also one of the strongest tunes here. It has both meaty riffs and catchy hooks.
Watching Our Love Fade Away
More of a melodic rocker, this has a lot of alternative rock built into it. This is another that's not a highlight, but works pretty well.
Easy Meat
This is quite an interesting cut. There is some hard rocking, almost stoner rock stuff at play. We also get mellower, almost prog meets psychedelic stuff. Then, later in the number, there is a killer jam that is like psychedelia does near metallic Zeppelin. This is the real highlight of the set for me.
Monster in Me
The closing title track is another hard rocking screamer. I dig the melodic hard rocking vocal hook, but the riffing on the verse is the biggest winner of the tune. This is a smoking hot piece that's another highlight. The guitar solo is on fire and turns rather neo-classical techno before it's over. There is a movement late in the track to a purely metallic and heavy zone. That serves as the closing in dramatic fashion.
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