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MP3 Coinmonster - Tilton Johnson

Lurching and frenetic, the band''s music carries the avant-garde torch held by acts such as Mr. Bungle and System of a Down.

12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Hard Rock, ROCK: Progressive Rock

review: 4.0 EYES (higest rating) Holy Christ, where do bands like this come from? Nominally a metal act, I guess, but damn, these three Pennsylvania cats are one of the most uncategorizable groups I think I''ve ever heard. Picture the weird metallic gymnastics of, say, Meshuggah, being played by guys into 70''s lite-rock, jazz, and blue-eyed soul (they did a spot-on cover of Hall and Oates'' "Sara Smile" on a previous album). Now make the music as taffy-pulling technical as you please, enough to send a Guitar Center full of jaded instructors into we''re-not-worthy genuflections - but at the same time, make it rockin'', hooky and fun enough that it goes down like cotton candy! I''m too flabbergasted to really pick it apart, but I''m guessing it''s because Coinmonster''s vocal melodies provide the catchiness, leaving the three mad doctors plenty of room to freak out on their instruments, constructing Frankensteinian mutants of songs that shouldn''t draw breath, much less boogaloo - but they do! They do! And this isn''t the "prog" of divebombing bumblebee guitar wank and irritating drum solos, but more of a jazzy, playful, "let''s see if we can possibly play this in 17/5 time in a chord we just invented while standing on our heads and singing about bears" variety, the kind that is all the more astounding because they make it look so damn easy! Jon Reider''s vocals are this weird double-tracked hybrid, sort of a heavy metal guy trying his hand at crooning, but it works perfectly, providing the balance of melody and grit that these bizarro songs need. "Slow Club" and "There Should Be a Test" stand out as favorites, or at least the songs that made me stare slackjawed at the speakers the most, but I mean it, there''s not a dull moment on Tilton Johnson - like I said, the songs are so infectious that you''ll be singing along to the choruses almost before you realize the Zappa-esque tendrils of musical dementia wrapping themselves around your legs and pulling you inside the stereo. All you Bungle/Zorn too-cool-for-school types are hereby ordered to hunt this down, as is anyone into prog, tech-metal, System of a Down, Strapping Young Lad, Cynic... make, anyone with half a noodle in their skull who wants to hear the best band in three states! Easily one of the best records of 2002 - whatever musical flag you''re flying, Coinmonster has already wiped their feet on it and are looking for the next challenge.
--Glass Eye Magazine

review: Over the course of a decade, this trio from New Castle, Pa./Youngstown has cranked out some of the best metal in a region known as a bastion of stoner rock and heavy metal. Songs from the band''s previous five albums have found their way onto TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Six Feet Under. Lurching and frenetic, the band''s music carries the avant-garde torch held by acts such as Mr. Bungle and System of a Down. But unlike those groups, singer-guitarist Jon Reider doesn''t have operatic ambitions and rarely slips into the now-stereotypical metal falsetto. Instead, he bellows like a pissed-off trucker. In fact, Reider''s gruff vocals make him sound more like that guy from Molly Hatchet than Mike Patton. And then there''re the time changes. Masterfully executed by Reider, drummer David Galazia and bassist Rick Stoner, stop ''n'' go songs such as "Damn the Sunset" and "Tropical Booze" are delivered with machine-like precision. And the riffs come in prog-rock proportions with punishing workouts giving way to pensive breaks -- the current incarnations of King Crimson and Yes wish they sounded this menacing...
--Scene Magazine

"...Coinmonster hold a very unenviable music-world position. The band''s music is, on the surface, of a very identifiable type: Power-trio rock utilizing technique-heavy guitar, bass and drums in complex stop-start rhythms. There''s a bit of Primus, a smidgeon of Rush, a touch of Jaco in the band''s music, and that puts Coinmonster in a certain slot pretty easily. But while Coinmonster would never shy away from its progressive-heavy-music mantle, it''s the band''s songwriting style and musical broad-mindedness that makes Tilton Johnson...stand out from the pack." -- Justin Hopper, Pittsburgh City Paper

review: What a relief, what a relief, what a RELIEF from an otherwise monotonous world of heavy rock that I''ve been dipping into lately. Let''s not beat around the bush, kids, this latest release from now-veteran loud rockers Coinmonster breaks the mold of what you think metal should sound like. This record is what I would call "metal for a new generation", and mostly metal for a new generation of rockers who are sick and tired of hearing the same riffs, same falsetto vocals, and same tired lyrics that have been re-circulating in the metal world for years. Coinmonster makes music that''s interesting, stretches the limits of the metal comfort zone, and their risks as a musical entity take their material to a level that few are willing and able to go. Honesty being the best policy while review-writing, I have been severely disappointed in the lack of new metal and loud rock offerings that contain anything more than recycled and average performances over the last several years. Unlike other genres, it can take something a little more spectacular to break the metal mold, but when you listen to a record like this, it reminds you that it CAN be done, and the high expectations I place on musicians is justified. Don''t get me wrong, it takes an army to maintain the order, but in effect, it only takes a few to lead, and this New Castle/Youngstown, PA trio have risen to meet the challenge. While this is yet another example of why their avant-garde style brings comparisons to Mr. Bungle and Tool, this band seems well within their potential (which is undoubtedly limitless) to produce menacing, commanding, and masterful material. There is nothing compromising about this performance, the big guitar occasionally gives way to a tear in the upper stratosphere of sound, and the vocals of Jon Reider barely give any room to breathe, much less break down into anything less than an inspiring performance that pushes the music forward at every turn. The music is layered and complex at times, but maintains a very simple, and melodic approach to an unending compendium of rhythmic versatility. In this way, a lot of the song structures and play on chord variations is reminiscent of innovative jazz masters like Coltrane and Miles Davis. Weird, but true. Music is music, and drawing from other genres that take a different mental approach to songwriting is the key to infusing loud rock with melodies and arrangements that don''t already exist in nature. Those who think they don''t like metal, and those who are tired of listening to whiny falsettos, really should give this a go. Out-fucking-standing. If you enjoy challenging rock that expands your own musical palette, Coinmonster will point the way for you. Standout tracks: "Damn the Sunset", "Gage Reflex", "There Should Be A Test", "Turn Against True Invention".

review: Coinmonster, who hails from Youngstown and has spent much of its decade or so together meandering on the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania, has released half a dozen albums. I have absolutely no idea what the other five sound like, but if they''re anything like the band''s latest, Tilton Johnson (Bandaloop), it''s both obvious and unfair why this band has toiled in obscurity for so long; obvious due to the esoteric nature of Coinmonster(the name itself sounds like Frank Zappa-inspired anime), and criminally unfair for the same reason. There just isn''t a lot of room on the charts for avant-garde jazzcore, which is only a small facet of what Coinmonster does, and that''s a rather imperfect and inelegant way to sum up that facet to begin with. Progtastic guitar noodling, off-kilter time changes, stops and starts and the inclusion of notes that couldn''t belong where they''re thrust but whose inclusion seems perfectly natural all the same -the kinetic output could come from Ornette Coleman if he rocked, or King Crimson if they weren''t old farts, or Faith No More if they liked both of them a lot more than they ever let on. It''s a musical mindfuck you can dance to, prog rock with a heart of soul. You can''t help but think they have another half dozen albums in ''em, none of which will sound like Tilton Johnson, but all of which will be amazing.
-- Columbus Alive Magazine

review: The overall style of Coinmonster has not really changed. Recognizable masculin and appealing vocals, complex wanderings through a dose of heavy rock. Watching The Insects is a good example: raw vocals, lots of breaks (one might think here of Echolyn related Land of Chocolate), but a bit more in the line of what used to be called indie. The singer sings like he is out of breath a bit. In between all the heavy guitars, there is place and space for some quieter intermezzo''s, and plenty of melody. There Should Be A Test is more rhythm based and has plenty of speed. Again, the vocals remind me of the Echolyn side of progressive rock and although the music has definite punk leanings, it is surely not straightforward. Tempo changes and breaks fly about the ears as the band again transgressed into quieter territory, making sure that the song don''t rage continually, but also wind down and wind up along the way introducing some necessary variation. On Damn The Sunset the style continues a bit less heavy, a bit more tongue in cheek. The guitar meanders, until we come to a rousing part followed by a very American sounnding ethereal intermezzo. There is even some dancing piano on this very strong song. By contrast How To Cheat The Public is funky, and I am thinking along the lines of Leel 42. The vocals are doubled and spoken like. For its length a bit less interesting than the previous tracks. Wake Up Tilton is a short one with playful piano, a banjo and brushes. Melodic, and sounding a bit like old movies. It is always nice to point to some famous progressive rock band on albums which can be considered outliers of same genre. On Tropical Booze the band is King Crimson, particularly in the opening. The vocals sound swollen, a bit like Zappa''s Ike Willis. In part it also has some of the quirkiness. Another point of reference then is Faith No More, which also combined tongue in cheek, genre crossing songs and heaviness. Fast and light is A Family Of Bears, with its piano accents, while Turn Against Invention has rapid percussion and a seventies outlook on things. Not the progressive seventies, but more in the line of Gino Vannelli. Yeah. It surprised me too. After a quiet opening Two Crooks And A Burn Barrel breaks loose into something groovy and heavy. King Crimson is a name to be mentioned here. On Gag Reflex the band shows it sense of humour with a country rednecktwang, while Slow Club is more in the way of jazzrock followed by Primus style rock. In the vocals Mike Patton can be heard. Closer Anywhere On Earth is a quiet closer, very melodic, a bit in the line of Midnight Cowboy as it appears on Faith No More''s Angel Dust. Conclusion The sound of Coinmonster combines Faith No More and King Crimson with the heavy groove of Primus and the breakfulness of Victims Family. The vocals lead the way melodically, making for a varied and appetizing side step from the "pure" progressive rock into more alternative areas, but without losing the depth and melody in the music.
--The Axiom of Choice Magazine

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