Everyone loves a super-group. Last year we were blessed with Kids See Ghosts and boygenius, and now we have Philly’s Copper Monks. The psychedelic leaning rock group is made up of Richard Douglass on guitar and vocals, Alfred Goodrich on bass and vocals, Chuck Treece on drums, and John Paul Miller on keys.
You may be questioning the validity of Copper Monks’ status as a super-group, but one look at the band’s resume and you’ll change your mind. Douglass is an award-winning musician who has opened for the likes of Bo Diddley and Dr. John. Meanwhile, Goodrich is a trained cellist and has opened for Rufus Wainwright, Bruce Hornsby, They Might Be Giants, Suzanne Vega, and more. Treece is a versatile drummer who’s been around forever, between his skate-punk band McRad and his contributions to Questlove’s 90s / 00s dance party Back2Basics. He is also known for playing bass on Billy Joel‘s “The River of Dreams” and playing drums at a Pearl Jam show. Finally, Miller has composed for choral ensembles and film scores. Astoundingly, the combined output as Copper Monks is even greater than the sum of its parts.
Earlier this month the band released their debut and self-titled album. The record is an uniquely modern approach to the San Francisco sound of the 60’s. It is rooted in psychedelia but occasionally leans towards reggae and alternative rock. “Flim Flam Man” is an island jam while “Silver Moon” is woozy slow-burner. “Yesterday’s Dreams” is the records most aggressive track, yet it is followed by the tender psychedelia of “Black Diamonds”. The latter is the album’s centerpiece — each band member’s talents are on full display and they sound entirely united.
The album closes with “Garden”, the album’s most stripped back song. As the end of the acoustic track approaches, everything begins to sound distorted and shiny. The band seems to pull apart their sound and let it unravel, leaving listeners with just some chirping birds. It is a subtle end to an otherwise jarring and lively listen.
Copper Monks are set to open for Lucy Kaplansky on July 6th as part of the Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert series. Find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to Copper Monks below.
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