Monochrome Coast – Review

Monochrome Coast

Monochrome Coast is a New Jersey Indie band founded in 2015. Christian Martinez (guitars), Casey Scheiner (bass), and Tyler Andreula (drums/percussion/guitars), were all friends prior to the band’s formation. They had played in a wide variety of music projects/bands separately and together. A time came when they agreed that their various cover bands would be dissolved in order to come up with a new unique, interesting, and entirely original music project of their own.

A practice space was located and prepared in an East Rutherford warehouse in order to minimize distractions and make way for abundant and high quality compositions emphasizing their new mission for innovative sounds. Yet writing as simply instrumentalists was not enough, and one final piece of the puzzle remained – locating a skilled and dedicated vocalist. Luckily Tyler had worked on some vocal tracks with a friend he met in his college Psychology class. After playing the tracks for Christian and Casey, they voted to bring in Matt Rosario, to add a new dimension to the group’s music. I’m extremely impressed with the wise decision that the “instrumental only” band made when they chose Mr. Rosario for lead vocals!

When I first heard him sing I was reminded of Brandon Boyd, the lead singer for the band, Incubus. Brandon hits high ranges and transitions between notes with perfect fluidity. Seeing Incubus live was quite a treat too and the vocals did not disappoint. My impression is that Rosario’s – might I say – angelic sound really distinguishes the band’s persona. If I get a chance to ask the band, I’m curious if they all feel deeply inspired by Incubus. Many of their percussive and chord change transitions seem to be on a similar wavelength. The first song I heard from Monochrome Coast is called, “Breathe You In”, apparently an intro to a longer version. The whole thing is instrumental with vocals acting as a non-lyrical instrument. The ambiance is very meditational and definitely keeps you curious of what their other songs sounds like.

Next was, “We Never Say”. I love how the vocals enter in very soon after a short intro by acoustic guitar. This whole song seems to be a duet between guitar and vocals; the chords are simple and compliment quite well with the amazing melodies, often up in a higher range, perfectly in pitch with a touch of vibrato. I almost thought the song should be named, “We Never Say Die” or “Listen to Your Friends” because of how the entire song ties together. Adding “die” provides a better quick snapshot of what the song is about, which is hard to grasp with just the first three words.

The third song, “Can’t Make Me Right” grabs me right away with how the non-distorted electric guitar picking and the subtle drumming work together. The drummer does a fantastic job complimenting the band. He never overpowers, and uses soft carefully chosen rhythms and aggressiveness when appropriate. I consider this song an “easy listening rock ballad” and was a little disappointed that the band didn’t take off and start jamming hard at around the 2:55 point through to the end, to drive home the title of the song. A very sympathetic feeling is shared for at around the 2:15 point of “We Never Say” as it could slowly build into something magically triumphant with heavy bass and drums, and potentially distorted electric guitar.

Monochrome Coast

I think if this band woos the audience acoustically emphasizing the vocalist at the beginning and middle of these softer songs then unexpectedly surprises the audience in the final 45 seconds or so, then they’ve placed icing on the cake. Finally, “The Ropes”. Again, I can’t get away from how Matt Rosario sounds to me like Brandon Boyd’s twin vocals. In this song I am glad to notice that bass guitarist Casey Scheiner is getting a chance to shine. It seemed I didn’t hear too much bass in the previous two songs mentioned. Mr. Scheiner is using some creative bass melodies as fills between chords that really adds character to the song.

I listened to all these 4 songs on Soundcloud and was glad to discover a 5th song called, “Serious Me” on Monochrome’s Band Camp. Actually this song is my favorite of theirs. What I love about it is that every member is given a chance to shine forth their creativity. I love the dynamics, transitions, and the overall production! Monochrome Coast’s camaraderie could really take them far. I hope they choose to stick together and persevere to find their magic money maker song/album. Then they can quit their full time jobs and reap the rewards of their efforts in the recording studio!

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