Album Review: Make Me Young, etc // Thumpermonkey

Back in 2012, when alternative prog-rock quartet Thumpermonkey released their debut album ‘Sleep Furiously’, singer Michael Woodman received an e-mail from a fan called Max, which said:

 “If you choose to ignore this e-mail, remember that you have a few short hours to make your mark.”

Woodman did not respond to the e-mail, but it began to cross his mind and make him think about the message and his impact on the world in greater detail. It is the theme to the bands’ second album, ‘Make Me Young, etc’ which is released on the 26th October. The album brings the following question: “If you knew tomorrow was the end of the world, would you be able to let go of all your regrets and live differently for one day?”

 

Recent single Veldt opens up the album. Woodman’s voice is reminiscent of Steven Wilson, with the atmospheric synths complementing it very well. It is impressive how he manages to cram in so many key changes, setting the tone for the album. ‘Cranefly’ is a rockier affair, with a heavy progressive guitar high in the mix, demonstrating the band’s diversity. There’s a range of influences on the album here, the guitar gives off a dramatic effect, while the Pink Floyd-esque ‘Figstorm’. The ambient piano brings out a relaxing atmosphere, echoing the re-emergence of past memories. And then, all of a sudden, a big dramatic guitar chord and a crashing cymbal take hold and the track becomes a different beast, before reverting back to a mellow guitar.

 

 

On ‘Deckchair For Your Ghost’, a revelation that Max’s prophetic quote could be true has emerged “It’s got me thinking I need to start proving everyone right in the most abominable ways.” We hear his vocal range amongst the creative basslines and fluid drumming, and the insight into Max’s character is so in-depth it draws the listener in. It has a lot of elements, so it is not an easy listen, however, it is very rewarding, and the listener appreciates the musicianship.

 

The title track could signify the end of the world, with its crashing intro. It is ten minutes long, the classically influenced piano giving the listener the feeling that buildings are crashing down, while  ‘TempeTerra’ features a piano which drives the song forward. It brings this epic opus to a close, the last note on the piano being a perfect example of how well the execution is delivered on the record.

The songwriting on ‘Make Me Young, etc’ has improved vastly from ‘Sleep Furiously’, with each instrument having its own lead part at times. It is a rewarding listen, and will make you think about the impact you have on the world.

 

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

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