Written by Chris Panico
I love Of Monsters & Men. I love them SO much. My Head Is An Animal was, frankly, one of the best debut albums ever. It had everything. The sound was new, the melodies were amazing, the energy was great. The band rode that train for a good couple years before finally cobbling together their sophomore record Beneath the Skin. As much as it pains me to say it though, this album is really just…bad.
After the first eighteen minutes or so (which is only about three songs) the listener starts to find that the band has adopted a trend of sticking with the same painfully slow-mid tempo on every tune. The songs aren’t quite fast enough to have energy, and not quite slow enough to be dramatic. Coupled with their drawn out, nondescript melodies, there isn’t much quality for any of the tunes stand on.
“Wolves Without Teeth” provides a short reprieve from the seemingly self-indulgent style of the record. It starts off with a very interesting and complex rhythm that’s pretty difficult to pin down. It isn’t a simple pattern that you’d find in most music, and it immediately gets the audience’s attention. With a little extra movement in the songs tempo, it has a lot more to offer than most of the album. Unfortunately, the song fails to deliver any type of memorable melody that a listener can latch on to.
Forget-ability is a common theme throughout Skin and was something that took me by surprise. On their first album the band proved that they can churn out hook after hook like nobody’s business. It’s possible that their more drawn out, noncommittal style of melody writing was intentional, but it doesn’t necessarily make it good. Which, in all honesty, is a pretty good headline for the album.