Southern Lights by Holy MonitorRelease date: February 26, 2021
Label: Blackspin Records
Some local rock or modern music scenes often have a certain genre they prefer to cultivate. This is also the case in some Mediterranean climate countries like Italy and Greece. In Italy, they love all things prog, in Greece, it is all things psych. Every shade and nuance. This brings us to Athens, Greece band Holy Monitor and their latest album Southern Lights. Like on The Desert Island, their EP from 2020 as well as their previous two albums, they cover as many aspects of psych past and present that you can do in eight tracks.
From the British organ-oriented psych (from Pink Floyd to Hawkwind and back), pop-psych of Nirvana (no, not that one, the first, UK Nirvana from the late Sixties) and revivalists like Bevis Frond, to Amon Dual II-style Krautrock as seen through the eyes of Kevin Parker and his Tame Impala.
So, are Holy Monitor yet another set of style-imitators? Well, not really. The quintet obviously has extensive and detailed psych collections from the obvious to stuff hardened collectors crave for. But they have actually integrated those collections at a point where their ideas coincide to come up with their vision of psych. And luckily for them, they have absorbed those licks to minute detail, because their instrumental capabilities are excellent.
But is there a specific Greek element in there? Actually, yes. What better to go along with some groovy psych licks than a bit of philosophy. In this case, Aristotle’s cosmology, which Holy Monitor tries to present through their lyrics here. Still, it is nothing overbearing or presumptuous. After all, it is Holy Monitor’s excellent psych variations that carry Southern Lights through successfully.