Reviews

“Listening to the Monroe Transfer is like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole – there’s no telling where the music will lead” [BBC OneMusic]


“The Monroe Transfer’s new piece of music laughs in the face of record-releasing convention. Is it a single? An EP? A mini-album? The answer is none and maybe all of these. I Dreamt I Was a Hammer and Everything Was Glass is a one track, 19-minute instrumental epic smartly presented in a handmade cardboard CD sleeve. Like the sleeve, the music inside is carefully and skillfully crafted by people who clearly love what they’re doing.” – The Daily Growl


“The Monroe Transfer’s imminent single, I Dreamt I Was A Hammer and Everything Was Glass, doesn’t look or sound like a conventional single at all. Seductively antique-styled packaging – a burnished copper and-cardboard fold-out encircled with a paper ribbon – swaddles a 20 min instrumental by a London septet comprising violins, cello, drums, guitars and rubbery upright bass. It’s an astonishing mood piece; haunted, melancholic violin phrases dissolve into impressionistic landscapes of watery guitar chords and multiple crashing crescendos. Swelling from morose chamber group to aggressive groove orchestra and back, The Monroe Transfer demand to be absorbed by candlelight, with a phial of absinthe on the side. Failing that, sticking ‘em on your iPod for a rainy commute will serve just as well” – The Metro – (One To Watch)


“One song is all The Monroe Transfer need; the audience – large, surprisingly so given it’s Sunday night and pissing down outside – stands transfixed by the seven-piece’s standalone offering this evening. Its name escapes, mumbled during the fading chatter ahead of the first instance of bow on strings. It runs for what is probably twenty minutes but feels like forever, and not in a negative sense, the band members visibly guiding the composition through varied stages of evolution. Beside me, two members of the next band on are flabbergasted, their mouths dropping open only for decency to snap jaws right back. From delicate passages of duel violin-led serenity (or is that a viola? Forgive my squinted-eyes ignorance) to a combustive climax that finds our stood-central (sometime) lyricist attacking his electric guitar with a fury clearly noticeable in his eyes, the cacophony building until the entire room feels a few inches off the floor. Slump, bang; bar talk follows some of the best applause a first-on act has ever received in the Luminaire.” [Drowned in Sound]


“The Macbeth pub in Hoxton pushes itself above many run of the mill establishments by continuing to showcase innovative and fresh new music, with many unique styles catered for across the spectrum. Tonight’s show is a fine example of the venue’s willingness to provide listeners with something refreshingly different, starting with The Monroe Transfer.

This seven strong group takes us on a dramatic and thought provoking journey, utilising guitars, violins, cello, double bass, drums and samples to deliver rich and vibrant sounds, holding much emotion within their music.

They travel through haunting and sparse moments, before progressing into lavish and grand soundscapes, with excellent use of dynamics and holding a great amount of drama, feeling like a movie score from some epic and affecting film.

At moments there are intense barrages of sound, with all the members creating a frantic and kinetic scene, taking things to the extremities of instrument bending with hefty guitar feedback, fevered violin playing and tempestuous, hectic percussion, while at other times they saunter into poignant and thought provoking parts, which hold great clarity and depth.

The Monroe Transfer are seriously dripping with talent; most of them must have been classically trained, as their level of playing ability is exceedinly high. Add to this their brilliant ability to write very strong material and you’ve got a fine band to watch. Definitely recommended.” [Subba-Cultcha, 22-7-8]


“At their most beautiful, The Monroe Transfer are able to lightly brush the places that so few other instrumental acts can…it’s exciting when a band that features not a single singer is able to take you away to someplace other than the here and now on fabulous waves of orchestral sound. The Monroe Transfer, at their most beautiful, are that band.” [Drowned in Sound]


“Packaged in a lavish multiple-fold-out textured box and beautifully assembled, this hand-numbered limited edition has been the envy of everyone who has set foot in the office this week…The Monroe Transfer may have seemingly come out of nowhere, but with their debut release have crafted a post-rock classic that sets them among the ranks of the best in the genre…There’s an epic quality here…this is something very special indeed” [Boomkat]


“The Monroe Transfer are instrumental, post rock, but with a difference. The inspired choice of double bass, cello and violin among the instruments tonight provides ample ammunition to pull their pieces (for to call them songs would be a vast understatement) in all kinds of directions. So during the initial piece the music conjures up ballet dancers pirouetting across the stage until they’re cast aside by visions of Salvador Dali’s ‘Un Chien Andalou’, sliced eyeballs and all. Before we can recover from this fifteen minute assault we’re into the second piece which sounds like they’ve taken Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ outside for a good kicking. After a couple more they’re off, having sculpted and destroyed numerous epic soundscapes” [Carling Live reviews]


“Setting the ‘old wire noise’ (viola, cello, electric guitars) of the album’s title against odd bursts/washes of electronics and emphatic drumming, the Monroe Transfer’s music is basically uncategorisable…their music is intense, slow-building, hypnotic, even mesmerising in its effect…an utterly beguiling mix of plangent strings, flickering guitars, electronic noise and forcefully tasteful drums building to uplifting climaxes” [Vortex Reviews]


“The Monroe Transfer’s music is big and bold, confident and complex; it relies little on repetition and quiet-loud-quiet dynamics, and is all the more stirring for its reluctance to adhere to tried-and-tested formulas…Arrangements are executed by a plethora of instruments, traditional and absolutely not: violins are employed with the same care and attention to detail as screwdrivers and mallets, and the band’s percussion section is forceful and direct. An uplifting listen, Electric Old Wire Noise may dredge melancholy waters for inspiration, but its assembly is an exercise of joy above all else.” [Drowned in Sound]

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