[ALBUM REVIEW] The Hundredth Monkey by Lazywall

INTRODUCTION

Someday, I want to meet the members of the members of this band and ask them “Okay seriously, what inspired you guys to call yourselves LAZYWALL?” Whatever it was, it gave them the right idea. At least I think so anyway. My reason? The name just….caught my interest. Its two words I’ve never seen in the same sentence…ever!! Lazy. Wall. Seriously like, what even inspires that? Whatever the case, let’s see if the inspiration extended beyond just the band name.

THE ALBUM

On to the first track on the album which is an instrumental track that falls short of the two-minute mark by a few seconds. As I speak I’m listening to it for the 4th or 5th time in the past 10 minutes. Yes an instrumental track that isn’t just filler, ladies and gentlemen. This is followed by the first full song on the album “The Perfume”. And as I listen I notice there’s a string instrument in the verses that isn’t a guitar….I dunno what instrument it is but it’s very folky sounding. And is accompanied by heavily distorted guitars and a very prominent bass.

The next song “Desert Flood” sounds a bit like the alternative rock/post-grunge songs from the late 90s and early 2000s. The prominent bass lines in the verses give a very firm foundation for the singing.
Invincible” is the next song on the album. For those of you who have been reading our past reviews, you’ll know this was a single that was released prior to the album’s release. The lyrics on this track are actually the first thing that stood out to me. You know how there are love songs? This is kinda the opposite. Kinda. I haven’t heard a song like this in a while. Takes me back, really.

Next is a song whose title I thought was a made up word until I typed it and there was no red line underneath it, “Speciesism”. I need to check the dictionary for the meaning of the word. Anyway, the song. The guitars on it remind me a bit of Rage against the machine yet I get this post-grunge/ hard rock sound from it.

Time girl” has these Ska sounding segments that came after the chorus. These segments were actually well written into the song as they did not stand out to the point of being out of place. Got to give them props for that. Also, the guitars on this one aren’t as distorted as in the previous tracks. It’s probably one of the more mellow tracks on the album. I guess it, being a love song had a bit of an influence on that.

Diamonds” comes next with singing that immediately reminds me of Serj Tankian of System of a Down. The only point in the song I didn’t get that vibe was the bridge leading up to the chorus. And 3 minutes in, the guitars go quiet and that folky string instrument is back….! And then the distorted guitars and the folk string instrument do this back and forth, then there’s a segment where someone sings in Arabic…..it’s just trippy, man. The moment that folk thing kicked in the song just turned into something else. Anyway, moving on.

Brother” is next. It kicks off with this mellow segment but things pick up later a little, later. The guitars aren’t as loud on this one allowing the vocals to be more of the focus than on previous tracks. “I Am” comes and the mellow is gone, man. There’s even a bit of a scream from the vocalist prior to the chorus. Again the riffs remind me of Rage against the machines with the chorus sounding a bit like the hard rock/post-grunge of the 90s and early 2000s. Then two minutes in there’s this segment that has this Arabian folk feel to it…..and then the guitars come back…and close to the 3-minute mark things mellow out with some other instruments, whose names I don’t know, creating this atmosphere. There’s just so much happening in this song to just write about. You gotta hear it for yourself.

I remember thinking “distorted mind” will probably just be another hard rock sounding track that I can just skip and not really say much about…. But it proved to actually be an entertaining song. “Dragonfly” is the first song that I noticed the presence of a Keyboard in. And about halfway in there’s a synth solo. And then group vocals that sound like a choir.

“Plagueman” is next and is…wait. I gotta make sure there are no sudden folk instrumental segments that just and shout “surprise!!”…..And….Guitar solo??? Come on!!! Enough surprises, please!
The opening minute of “Nothingness” is pretty melancholic. And soothing. There was a sudden build up that ended up not being a transition into heavy riffing. Which is not a bad thing. I like the song with its melancholy. The keyboard parts in the background sound like they could be turned into an epic movie score. So this is officially the mellowest song on the album and I think I’ll put it on repeat once I’m done typing this.

Come what may opens with some cool riffing which then transitions into just the drums in the first half of the verse. The guitars I think are the part of the song that really roped me in. And….another guitar solo. Yay. “Executed”…..another guitar solo. Catchy chorus. Good song. Next.

And now we have the album closer. Well, it’s not the final track. There’s a radio edit version of “The Perfume”. But since it is a radio edit of a previous track, I vote that “Away” is the album closer. It’s also the song that really stuck in my long-term memory. Maybe because it’s the album closer. Maybe because of it a legitimately catchy song. Oh well.

CONCLUSION

The sound on this album is very raw. I mean, it is well recorded and it sounds good and all, but it’s so so raw. Especially when the distorted guitars come into play. Feels like you’re listening to a live show in a place with very good acoustics.

The folk elements are present in a lot of tracks. In some they are very evident in others they stay in the background and just flesh out the songs a bit more.
One thing I like about the album is how audible the bass is on every track. I think that can be attributed to how the songs were recorded.

There are two things that I feel some people will have an issue with on this album. Those are the vocals and the number of tracks. Now the vocals aren’t bad. Nope. But they do sound…unique. It felt odd at first but a minute or two into the first song and I got used to his voice. I feel maybe, some might not get used to it. Maybe. I may be wrong. Besides, if you’re already a fan of theirs this will probably, definitely, not be a problem.

Then there’s the number of tracks. And if you’ve reached this point of the review, you know that this album is full of songs. Soooo many songs. And in recent times, bands albums tend to have just 8-11 full songs on their albums. So seeing a band with…15 tracks on their album….now that I think about it that’s just 4 extra songs.

And Honestly, NONE of the songs bored me. I may not remember all the song after I listen to it but I know I enjoyed each and every one of them. And for there to be 15 of these songs is a testament to LAZYWALL. These guys know their stuff.

Also, none of the songs sounds the same. And as unique as the songs sound when compared to each other, they blend together well to make a very good record. This is definitely one of the most interesting rock records I’ve listened to in years. For real.
Okay, back to listening to “Nothingness”. Bye

 

Rating

       

nosMASS

Graphic Artist, Heavy Music Enthusiast/ "Geek",....I've dabbled in Game design (The artistic aspect.....I suck at coding....Not like that matters here)....... Also, I ♥ PHINEHAS Yeah....

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