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Monsters in Nashville

July 8, 2012

“Yeah…we’re all Asian,” Alex Hwang greeted the crowd at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge, Monday June 11th. Pushing up his large Beatnik-Wayfarer styled glasses, he asked, “Can you guys do something for us for our friends back home, don’t worry we won’t be offended…just make a peace sign for the camera.”

Demonstrating the different adjustments of the Victory V, Monsters Calling Home’s lead singer and guitarist Hwang laughed as the crowd enthusiastically threw peace signs into the air.

“That’s perfect.”

The extremely close knit Southern California band charmed the crowd with sheepish charm and modesty, the six members stood in a half circle facing the audience, smiling to hide the nerves. A tamborine began to clammer as their first song, “Fight to Keep,” began. Hwang’s clear and strong vocals cut through the silenced awe of the crowd and the acoustic guitar followed suit with increasingly passionate strums. Another guitar jumped in the instrumental explosion, with faint percussion gently guiding the rush. This was Monsters’ first appearance in Nashville and the extremely upbeat folk they brought with them fit right in.

The band’s eclectic mixture of violin, acoustic guitar, tamborine, percussion and ocassional mobile accordian-keyboard set them apart from other folk indie camps. Ever song in their set was masterly created. Each vocal complimented the next, and the soft drumming furthered the vulnerability in each song. A beautiful highlight was the band’s “Foxbeard,” a beautiful ballad telling the story of the struggle between selfishness and selflessness, was Monsters’ shining moment as the crowd swayed to the violin’s crooning lullaby and an intensifying drum beat.

Monsters Calling Home are a curious set of musicians with a passion for incorporating different folk instrumentals with new age indie sounds.

But really, their vocals are amazing:

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