Album Review: The Monroe Transfer – I Dreamt I Was a Hammer and Everything Was Glass

The Monroe TransferAlbum Review: The Monroe Transfer
Album: I Dreamt I Was a Hammer and Everything Was Glass
Label: Organ Grinder Records

London is a funny old place. It’s a true cultural melting pot of greedy bankers and illegal immigrants, artists and vagabonds, and a healthy dose of depravity and opulence. You can find anything and everything there, and sometimes the Capital’s domineering presence can give birth to a true gem, as is the case with seven piece Londoners, The Monroe Transfer.

‘I Dreamt…’ is a slow boiler of a song. It paces itself, never meticulously, but like a finely crafted Hitchcock shot. It teases and builds, exercising the imagination to a point where the song begins to write itself in your head. A slowly drawn violin melody toys with the listener throughout the track. It patiently goes from sweet and innocent to a much more sinister, shocking sound that creates a journey of emotions that can leave you feeling sorrow or joy at every one of its slight twists.

Halfway through and a shift in tone is brought about by Dave O’Brien’s resounding double bass. Drums suddenly make their presence known, and a staccato guitar riff is injected creating a sense of panic and forbearing. Really, it’s token post-rock fare – start slow, build it up gradually, before exploding into a crescendo of noise and rage which overwhelms the listener. I should be bored of it, I should find it formulaic and tedious, but every single time I listen to the piece I’m drawn in, falling completely head over heels for it despite its obvious patterns. Just like a couple completely infatuated with eachother will overlook the fact that every human follows the same blueprint, there’s still something special that makes that person unique and special to them. Don’t be alarmed, I’m not recommending that you start sleeping with the delicate packaging of ‘I Dreamt…’ but I do think the album has something that, despite its reliance on classic post-rock structures, make it a wonderful listening experience.

There’s no denying it – The Monroe Transfer’s seventh release is a beautiful piece of work, and is exactly what the seminal Godspeed You! Black Emperor might be doing today if the word hiatus hadn’t been invented. Their attitude (they believe, rightfully, that DIY doesn’t have to mean badly made) is remarkable, and we need more of it in this world.

Originally published at The Line of Best Fit.

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