Black Monroe is a 3 piece band from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The band bio reads that they are influenced by skate punk, hardcore and much more to create a unique sound. After listening to the bands self titled debut EP which was released on the 26th of January 2019 that bio feels pretty accurate.
The EP features 6 of the bands songs and they all have elements of skate punk and hardcore but none of them feel accurately described by either of those terms, especially given the length of their songs is on average 4 minutes long.
The track “PMA” has strong skate punk vibes from the start with its distorted guitar driven intro, the fast moving progression of power chords has a familiar ring to it similar to bands like Pennywise. The lyrical themes in this track are also familiar ground and it even has some Oi! parts. The breakdown near the end is great as the bass really shines before the guitar plays a leady part that sounds like something off a Soundgarden album.
I think grunge must be a musical influence for this band as the vocal style in their song “Bad Apples” has a real grunge vibe in parts, its dark, flat and sluggish but in a good way. In other parts of the song you can hear the familiar “Na na na” of pop punk, it also has a great breakdown with the bass and the guitar riff in the intro is awesome.
The song “Any Day” is a great blend of hardcore and skate punk, distorted guitars and familiar “whoa” parts driven hard by intense drums and a solid vocal track. Like the other songs this one is high energy.
I really dig the start of “Highway 45” its a great bass and drum start with some harmonics on guitar before a vocal shout and distorted power chords take things up a notch. The verse parts have a skate punk vibe and there is an awesome guitar riff part leading out of the chorus, the music also has the stop start stuff which is really tight. The vocals in this song are melodic in most parts and there is some great big scream moments that are more hardcore/metal.
“Dead Girl” has a vocal melody that resembles pop punk/skate punk (think something like Blink 182) with lyrics about having feeling for someone that is bad for you and is struggling with substance abuse issues, perhaps the message is “love is blind”. Musically the song starts off with a bass line that is different from anything else on the EP, great drumming and distorted power chords with some shouty backups with a run time of around 5 minutes.
The shortest song on the EP is called “My Life” which comes in at around 3 and a half minutes. This song still has the same hard hitting energy that is present in the other songs. Melodic hardcore, heavy hitting drums, distorted guitar chords ring out in parts and hardcore shouty bits towards the end, its a great track.
This band has gigs booked in the coming months so keep an eye on their band page and get along to a show.
Facebook Link – Triple J unearthed Link –
Black Monroe is Matt Dovison – vocals/bass
Corey Panozzo – guitar
Marshall Hargreaves – drums