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Monoglot - 2017 - "Wrong Turns And Dead Ends"

(36:44; Hout Records)


1. Wake Up Song 3:16
2. N192 3:50
3. Swing 4:58
4. Staphylococcus Aureus 5:38
5. Mess 3:41
6. The Coast 2:25
7. Sirens 4:55
8. Tuxedo 3:32
9. Suna Rosa 4:29


Sebastian von Keler - saxophone
Fabian Willmann - saxophone
Kristinn Kristinsson - guitars
Florian Keller - bass
Luca Glausen - drums 

Prolusion. Multinational band Monoglot have been an active entity since 2014 or thereabouts, and from their base in Germany they have made and released 4 studio albums since they started out, in addition to playing live on more than 100 occasions. Their second album " Wrong Turns And Dead Ends" dates back to 2017, and was released through Swiss label Hout Records.

Analysis. Monoglot is a band that mix and blend a few different types of styles and orientations on this production, and personally I think the description "eclectic progressive rock" is one that fits the premises of this album fairly well. While the music can be challenging I wouldn't really find it appropriate to describe as too far out on the experimental side of matters, and while there are elements of jazz very much present I wouldn't say that this aspect dominates or defines this album either. When dealing with a band playing instrumental music and having two saxophone players it is difficult to avoid having jazz references in the compositions of course, and on quite a few occasions Monoglot does venture into the realms of jazzrock on this album too. Most often with flowing or more expressive saxophone textures or solo runs as the main providers of such associations, but also with the other instrumentalists chiming in to emphasize such an impression. We also get a fair few songs with a driving bassline that have a more defined rock expression, and at least in part with the guitars also chiming in with more of a rock orientation bordering hard rock at times. The more flowing saxophone textures don't always correspond to jazz traditions either of course, other than getting that association somewhat by default, and we also get to experience compositions here that have a bit more of an off kilter orientation in general and in the rhythm department in particular. The occasional use of post-rock style textures and textures with a bit more of a noise orientation further expands the nature of the landscapes explored here. I experience Monoglot as a band deliberately crossing boundaries and blending stylistic elements on this album, and that they go about it in such a manner that both jazzrock fans and those with an affection for music with a more avant orientation will find the music attractive and appealing. In addition the landscapes explored tend to be more harmonic and less focused on directly difficult and challenging escapades, shying away from the use of atonalities and more abrasive instrument details more than as more token effects. This is music that may well appeal a bit beyond your regular jazzrock and avant prog interested audience too.

Conclusion. Monoglot is a band that on "Wrong Turns And Dead Ends" makes use of elements from jazzrock and avant progressive rock inside of a context that has a bit more of a regular progressive rock orientation to it, with a bit of additional seasoning brought in from the post-rock universe in particular. The result is a solid creation that should appeal towards a progressive rock audience also beyond the jazzrock and avant interested crowds, at least as long as they enjoy the use of the saxophone as an instrument in an appropriately but not overly challenging variety of instrumental progressive rock.

Progmessor: February 2023
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Monoglot Hout Records


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages