After recently receiving the ‘Best Indie Rock Artist’ title at the Artists in Music Awards 2012, Sydney-siders Monks of Mellonwah have released their second EP, Neurogenesis.

Blending alternative and progressive rock together throughout, the title track is an impressive opener with a strong chorus (said to discuss Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb) and an intense guitar riff.

One of the strongest aspects of Neurogenesis is Wil Maher’s vocals and perfect diction, his voice sounding like a grungy mixture of the lead vocals from bands such as Boy & Bear and even Tom Smith of Editors.

Citing Led Zeppelin, Foals and Muse as their influences, Neurogenesis shares little similarity with any of these bands. Mastered by Howie Weinberg, who has previously worked with the likes of Nirvana, Muse, Aerosmith and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the opening guitar in the E.P’s second track ‘Neverending Spirit’, has a Red Hot Chilli Peppers style about it, if anything.

Third track, ‘Kyoto’ however, has received high rotation and radio airplay due the fact that the opening guitar, fast tempo and catchy chorus easily ensnare listener’s attention. Harmonies between Maher and backing vocalists John de la Hoyde and Joshua Baissari in ‘You Shine’ are a welcomed addition to the EP; and the closing track features a slower tempo and strong percussion from Baissari.

Monks of Mellonwah are impressive musicians and the vocals on ‘Neurogenesis’ are its strongest character. However, its disappointing to find that their second EP demonstrates a lack of variety, with the songs starting to sound so similar that the release begins to sound like one 20min-long composition.

– Eva Dent