Robin Brock – Monsters (2010)

Robin Brock – Monsters (2010, Rock Empire)

  1. Monsters
  2. New Addiction
  3. Two Words
  4. Master And Slave
  5. Pieces
  6. Solitary Girl
  7. Fuel
  8. Power It Through
  9. Warrior
  10. The Witching Hour

Musicians:
Robin Brock – Vocals
Danny Jacob – Guitars
Justin Abedin – Guitars
Rik Emmett – Guitar on tracks #3 & #8
Mike Rocha – Bass
John Capek – Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Programming

Producer: John Capek

Country: Canada

Total Time = 39:44

Robin Brock
Robin Brock MySpace page
Robin Brock page at CD Baby
Robin Brock page at ReverbNation

Canadian Rock vocalist Robin Brock is back with her third independent release, MONSTERS, her first album in six years. Being an independent artist can have it’s positives and it’s negatives. One of the biggest positives is that the creative process is not hampered by outside forces like labels and management but one of the biggest negatives is that the same creative process can be too free, too varied and lacking cohesion. Sometimes trying to be too different can destroy an album’s consistency. MONSTERS is an album that is extremely varied and the mix of styles is a blend of Classic Rock, Modern Rock, Alternative, Industrial/Electronica, Pop and even a touch of Progressive Rock. Robin’s voice lends itself more to the Classic Rock style because she has a good mix of subdued Pat Benatar and Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson but with a modern edge. What does that actually mean? That Robin Brock can sing and that is the strongest selling point of this album. The only problem I have with the vocals is when effects are put on them like on the Industrial ‘Monsters’ and the modern rock of ‘New Addiction’…..or at least that’s what it sounds like. Robin is definitely at her best singing the ballads like ‘Two Words’ and ‘Solitary Girl’, two of my favorite songs on the album because she can get out of that Rock mindset and just sing.

On MONSTERS, Robin teams up again with musician/songwriter/producer John Capek, who has been an integral partner on her last two albums. I’m not really sure if it was planned or not but the lyrics really aren’t that good, maybe a little too simplistic, repetitive and juvenile. I’m not trying to be harsh here because I’ve heard some songs from her previous albums and they seem better written…..audiences, especially Rock & Metal audiences, are looking for well-written songs. Unfortunately, I’m not really hearing anything overly inspiring or catchy that makes me want to listen again. Maybe it’s time to get some fresh blood in on the writing? That said, I think ‘Master And Slave’ is a solid Hard Rock song with a sleazy direction, the two ballads are solid and ‘Warrior’ shows the Prog Rock side of Robin that reminds me a little of Lana Lane. Same thing with ‘Witching Hour’, there’s a serious Prog Rock vibe with a grungy riff that sounds like a CARNIVAL OF SOULS leftover from KISS (one of Robin’s favorite bands!).

Bottom Line:
I gave this album a lot of stereo time because something about it kept pulling me in. The problem was that everytime I would play it  I would find myself not really paying attention bercause it was all over the place stylistically. MONSTERS is a tough album for me because it is so varied and tries to be so different that I think the overall sound is compromised. Instead of having a cohesive style for the entire record, it seems like Brock has decided to have a different style for each song. I also think that the songwriting is a little suspect and that is the biggest part of making a record, if you don’t have well-written songs then you don’t have a good album. I would say that MONSTERS is half good and half below average…..but there is promise. The songs that I thought were the best showed that Robin Brock has a lot to offer and her vocals are the best thing on the album.A little more focus on a certain style, a certain musical direction, and I’ll bet that Robin can produce an amazing record. There was enough here to make me check out songs from her previous two CDs and I might check them out with a little extra research.

Favorite Songs:
‘Two Words’, ‘Master And Slave’, ‘Solitary Girl’, ‘Warrior’