Monster Of The Week
Recorded at Front Row Recordings (Valley Stream, NY)
Engineered/Mixed by John Iadevaio
Mastered at Westfall Recording Comany by Ray Marte (Farmingdale, NY)
Review by Travis Djentile of Washed Up Media
With the release of the new SARGASM EP, Long Island misfit rockers prove the monsters are out… and they’re hungry.
If you wanna get technical with this, the drummer of Sargasm is a good friend of mine. Sean Ageman (owner and curator of Washed Up Media) calls the shots on who gets to write reviews and who generates content for this site. So at the end of Sargasm’s lively set at their release show for their new EP “Monster of the Week,” I essentially begged him to let me write this review. I understand that you may have doubts on my ability to be impartial, and to that I say: FUCK YOUR DOUBTS.
Right off the bat Sargasm come full force with the intoxicating fast-paced title track “Monster of the Week.” Lead singer and guitar player Brian Kjellgren’s haunting vocals feel like they’re beckoning you, welcoming listeners with all the fervor of a carnival barker to the twisted circus they’re about to enter. Backed by a tasty riff from guitar player Matty Marcus, and more-than-competent drumming from Sean Ageman, this track sets the tone for the journey listeners are about to embark on. Complimented by Long Island’s own Mr. Guest-Spot Anthony Copozzi, the boys make their mission statement clear as they belt out in unison; “success is all I crave”. This foursome wants you to know that you’re in their world now, and there’s no place else to go.
The follow up track “Bon Voyage” switches gears as the gang serenades what I can only assume are the former ladies of their lives. Kjellgren’s lyrics denote a story of a love gone sour, and that sometimes you have to say goodbye to the once strong, now ugly relationships in life. With catchy elements reminiscent of my favorite Queens of the Stone Age songs--sprinkled with a little Ween--the pace of the track moves like a roller coaster, shifting back and forth from pushing you along at breakneck speeds, to the inevitable sobering slow-down at the end of the ride. I’d be remiss not to mention the smooth bass lines highlighting the slower parts of “Bon Voyage,” courtesy of bassist William Santoro.
Speaking of William, writing credits for the first single and third track of the EP are solely his. Billy wrote “Always,” a track that burrowed its way into my brain and didn’t leave for about 2 weeks (until I heard the rest of the EP that is). This magnificently produced track is a snapshot of pure brotherhood, a song you would play on the Jukebox around 2AM drinking with your best buds. Its power ballad guitar riffs combined with sing-along vocals produce what is perhaps Sargasm’s most radio worthy track on this EP.
My favorite track is reserved for “Patient Over the Knife”. At a recent box social I had the opportunity to ask Kjellgren if he would elaborate on what is arguably my favorite line in Monster of the Week:
“There was love on some degree. Why on earth would they give one to me? The document lets me declare you are my luggage I'm sending elsewhere”
This song is about 9 years old and tells the tale of a deranged surgeon who saves a female patient during an emergency operation. Post-op, the two engage in an adulterous sexual relationship. When the patient falls in love with the unnamed doctor and threatens his happy marriage, he decides to kill her with the same surgical knife he saved her with, effectively silencing her once and for all. While the subject matter may be juvenile, I cannot deny the sheer catchiness and Sargasm’s ability to make such a silly, and perhaps macabre story such a treat to listen to. Once again Ageman’s unique way of implementing genre-bending drum riffs shines through to make this track truly remarkable.
Sargasm manage to stick the landing with the final track of the EP. A little slow compared to its predecessors, “Five Easy Riders” showcases what Matty and Brian can do with their respective axes by unleashing a slew of lumbering guitar solos, once again reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age, or even Mastodon. The last minute of this track manages to bring the energy back up, shinning a light on all four members strengths culminating in an epic grand finale.
From a personal standpoint Sargasm’s rank in my book has steadily grown over the last year. With every passing set they made it a point to hone their sound and tighten up every loose end with what I can honestly say is their strongest line-up to date. It took a while for this band to grow on me and I’m now kicking myself that I wasn’t giving them more attention sooner. Rock and Roll is alive and well on Long Island and this EP is a testament to that. Do yourself a favor, go see Sargasm live and pickup a copy of “Monster of the Week”. You’re welcome.