It is official. The first new children’s album of 2014 is also the most original. If there is one word that best describes Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls, the debut album from Rainbow Beast & The Rock Band Land Rockers, that word would be “eclectic.” This band’s debut album is completely unlike any children’s album released over the course of 2013. It is an album that simply must be heard for that simple reason. Keeping this in mind, it goes without saying that the band—Marcus Stoesz (vocals/Guitars/Keyboards), Brian Gorman (Drums) and Jen Aldrich (bass) have set the bar for all of the children’s albums to come in 2014.
Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls (or TFTMS as it will henceforth be titled) opens with quite the interesting song in ‘Happy Clouds.’ This indie-pop style song comes across as setting the scene for a thunderstorm in the forest. Stoesz, who sounds eerily like Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne, sets the scene, singing, “The clouds are happy/They can’t get enough sky/They grow and grow together/Blocking out the sunlight/The animals are confused/Some start to hibernate/Trees are struck by lightning/They crash to the ground/Cool rain falls everywhere/Without sun nothing grows/Flowers are wilting/There’s no crop to be sown/The clouds find a way/To the center of the Earth/They keep it cooling off/So they continue to grow.” The song goes on much in this same vivid fashion, lyrically speaking. It’s obviously easy to visualize everything that Stoesz is singing in one’s mind. This is the most important factor in this song. The song’s indie-rock style musical side will catch the ear of older children and potentially even their own parents. This being the case, it is a good first impression for the band.
‘Happy Clouds’ is a good first impression for listeners that are new to the music of Rainbow Beast & The Rock Band Land Rockers. Just as intriguing for listeners from this album is ‘Fish Wife.’ This song is fantasy all the way. It is a proper fit for this album. It is harder than the album’s opener. But it is still pure indie rock. Stoesz sings about a penguin that had quite the thing for a fish that it caught. He sings, “He loved that fish so much/He should marry it!” He goes on, writing of the penguin’s devotion to the fish despite the view of the other penguins. It’s definitely a fantastical tale. But it’s so outlandish that one can’t help but enjoy it oddly enough.
The tales of the fantastic don’t stop with ‘Fish Wife.’ Stoesz and his band mates take young listeners even deeper down the musical rabbit hole as the album progresses. Case in point, ‘The Doldies.’ Stoesz sings here about a character coming upon a tree that apparently bears doll parts. From there, his character falls into his own Wonderland of sorts populated by what would seem to be dolls themselves. Again, this is one of those songs that absolutely must be heard for one to entirely understand and appreciate it. Once one does, one will find out for one’s self why exactly this trio’s debut album is in a realm all its own in every way possible. It will be available February 11th. More information on Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls and Rainbow Beast & The Rock Band Land Rockers is available online at http://rockbandland.org and http://www.facebook.com/rockbandland. The band will be performing live and holding classes and camps through the remainder of this old year and into the new year. The most current schedule of those performances and camps is available online at http://rockbandland.org/calendar. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.