Album Review: Guerrilla Monsoon – Big City Plans

Guerrilla Monsoon are just like me. They are a group of guys from small towns in the Midlands; playing music because they are compelled to – no matter what anyone else may think. I know what it’s like to feel like an outsider, to feel trapped and isolated by small towns… and I know what it’s like to have Big City Plans. With a record coming out on October 27th on US label Paper + Plastick, (as well as iconic UK label Beach Community), and an upcoming slot at The Fest in Florida, it would seem that everything’s coming up Team Monsoon.

Big City Plans is  an 8 track EP, and opens with 2 minute calling card “Flock the Nest”. The song begins with a series of ringing, clashing chords and a building drum beat before dropping into the twin vocals and driving melodies that define the band. The song acts a perfect introduction and instantly brings to mind the earlier work of punk rock/emotional hardcore stalwarts Hot Water Music. That comparison isn’t just down to the twin vocal sound popularised by the Florida outfit in the mid 90s; throughout the EP, drummer John Maycroft and bassist Rob Frampton provide a solid backbone of complex rhythmical changes which perfectly underpin the angular guitars and half-yelled vocals of Lewis Bloor and Mark Bussey.

It is easy to tell that the band have thought about the track ordering of this record, and the prospect of a physical release on double sided vinyl. Side A closes with the fast paced “Whiskey and Wine” which is reminiscent of a Strung Out track. Tight palm muted guitars and a strong vocal line build into the kind of heart-on-sleeve confessional story telling that punctuates every song on this EP. When the opening track of side B “Good Grief” declares: “The realisation it’s like seeing a long lost friend” this pretty much sums up the record.

Big City Plans could have been written any time in the last 20 years, and it would still have felt instantly fresh, and classic at the same time. These are sing-along songs, and it is not surprising that the heartbreak and positivity expressed across the record are as relevant and resonant on the other side of the Atlantic as they are in right here in the small towns of the midlands. Closing track Believers concludes with one of the biggest hooks on the record – “don’t you worry about me. I will always let you down”. It seems likely that by the time Guerrilla Monsoon get to Florida at the end of this month, there will be at least a small group of people dying to sing that line with just as much passion and spirit as the band themselves.

Because this is the point… Guerrilla Monsoon aren’t just a band for me, or for people who grew up in small towns in the midlands. Guerrilla Monsoon are for anyone and everyone who wants to listen. The record is passionate, melodic and relevant no matter who you are, or where you come from, and there is very little doubt that the band are about to get all of the good things and recognition that they deserve.


Pre-order the Big City Plans EP from Beach Community here: Big City Plans EP

Posted in Record Reviews, Reviews and tagged , , .

Sam Moloney

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