Miami based alternative rock four-piece Lochness Monster released their debut album Fables at the beginning of this year, which really puts it into perspective 10 months down the line. Looking over the other releases 2017 has to offer, there’s some potential to be had here but ultimately misses the mark.
Fables plays it far too safe to make any kind of significant impression. It’s starts quite strong with ‘First Flight’ and ‘Pendulum’, the latter being the album’s biggest banger by a country mile. Wisely released as one of the two singles off the album, ‘Pendulum’ is what this band have set their sights to become, that for some reason they didn’t hammer home on this record. The lyrics of what can be interpreted as the feeling of a solo space mission are hammered home by vocalist Michael Morello, with a quality performance by the rest of the band. It shows conviction that we could easily invest in, though we can’t say the same for the rest of Fables as it drags us through unconvincing melancholy disguised as angst.
Which brings us to the bands’ second single ‘Pixie Cut’. It marks a slight change of pace, that echoes a little too closely to early emo. With former Paramore producer James Paul Wisner conducting this album, it’s quite poppy and punchy in places with a catchy enough chorus to get by.
When the album tries to liven things up with tracks like ‘15 Rounds’, they end up dragging quite monotonously. Hooks that don’t go anywhere and just end up getting under your skin after too many listens. Granted they’ve made it within the top 50 position CMJ [College Media Journal] charts, it’s going to take a bit more effort to really get the ball rolling outside of that realm.
As debut albums go, the impression we get of Lochness Monster is a little less mysterious than the elusive Scottish dinosaur they’re named after. Since their formation back in 2014, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt as there’s always potential with any band that puts in the time. It’s easy to get too comfortable in your own sound, which seems to be the case for these Floridians. We’re sure there’s a risky band buried deep down in there somewhere, but whether they’ll act upon it or not will take time to reveal. Let’s hope they realise this sooner rather than later.
Fables is out now.