JAM THE TRACKS WHILE YOU READ
"GREAT ADD YOU SAUCY MINX" - BEN
KYLE MEGNA AND THE MONSOONS
MAY 15TH, 2023
Meet Kyle Megna and his six member band, The Monsoons. Apparently they’re a big deal in their native Wisconsin, winning a couple back-to-back best artist awards. But that was a few years ago and we live in an age of what have you done for me lately. And what they’ve done lately is produce an excellent new four song EP clocking in at a humble 14 minutes and 7 seconds.
Now, with seven musicians bobbing about on stage you better put them to use. There is no longer a Happy Mondays Madchester scene where you can have a character like Bez whose limited offering towards group performance is being the freaky dancer. But Wisconsin, USA isn’t Manchester, UK. Giant waving air-filled cheese curds would be more apropos. Thankfully, there are neither. What there is, however, is a plethora of instruments–all hail the almighty saxophone and trumpet!--on these tracks.
“Alive Again” starts off with the funkiest blues rock intro I’ve come across in ages. With tinkling keys and the horns doing their thing you ask yourself just who the hell are these guys and why have I not heard of them before? This track just oooooozes groove. It’s only 3:29 long. I wanted a 13:29 version. A Herbie Hancock “Chameleon” version. This band feels like if The Brand New Heavies were raised on frozen custard and Dave Matthews. It’s a track that hopefully is turned into an epic on stage jam rendition.
Led with stellar vocals and piano, “Lost In My Head” softens things with an Americana waltz. When the brass (Wind? Do I hear a bassoon?) instruments peak through the pallor the listener understands that these guys really know how to play and we’re hearing something special. But before that lullabye can lull us to sleep, the indie rock rocks us awake with the self-titled track, “Charlatan.” The final song, “You Can Stay” shines with Kyle’s heartfelt lyrics:
There are times I could walk away / From this life, from this life
But let us hope the prevailing winds of these Monsoons keep blowing our way for many years to come; that Kyle won’t walk away anytime soon.
- Trent Ryan Smith