'Monstrous Child' is the highly anticipated debut album from West Yorkshire based band Bad Pollyanna. The band themselves are a curious mix of Gothic Rock and Industrial Metal taking their influences from artists as diverse as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Kate Bush, Lady Gaga and Rammstein creating a distinctive sound.
The songs on 'Monstrous Child' create something of a concept album which tell the story of an innocent young woman who becomes the victim of a crazed scientist who is trying to reincarnate his lost love. The woman is transformed into a beautiful but deadly monster, and as she looks at herself and her old life through new eyes she can see how she had been conditioned by the world around her to be afraid and subservient.
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Within the scope of this structure, the band successfully manages to deliver ten songs that do make sense in the telling of the story, but a lot of these are tracks also stand up on their own as isolated songs - not an easy task for any band.
Kicking things off with 'Hollow', with its atmospheric opening courtesy of some keyboard samples from bass player Nikki Kontinen the song quickly blossoms into life. There are some excellent vocals from Olivia Hyde too and if your foot isn't tapping by the time you get to the (truly memorable) chorus then this album just isn't going to be for you.
Title track 'Monstrous Child' has a more Industrial Metal feel with it's stuttering keyboard sound but it's not long before the song settles back with Hyde giving one her most accomplished vocal performances. Likewise 'Liquid Lover' which continues with the industrial sound while again, comes across as a very enjoyable track.
The main vocal from Hyde merges seamlessly with the backing vocals blending so well together during the chorus whilst drummer Valerian Adore batters out a solid and relentless rhythm at the back. 'Liquid Lover' is certainly a favourite of mine and has been added to my October 2013 playlist.
'Letting You Go' is another extraordinary track with its ghostly vocals from Hyde laid over some simple percussion from Adore and an unobtrusive keyboard track really makes this a great track from start to finish. The band then add in some minimal guitar work which slowly builds during the song before it finds its feet showcasing the enormous vocal talent of Hyde, who is truly exceptional here.
It'd be interesting to see how these songs fare in a live environment, but one thing for sure is that this band are more than capable of writing easy to listen to tracks while still managing to produce songs with enough going on sonically to keep you interested.
As a concept album this works on all levels and as I said earlier, the songs also stand up on their own which is a remarkable feat for such a young band.
Where Does It Hurt?
Letting You Go
The Living Dead
Chase The Demons (From My Bed)
Epilogue (Invincible Girl)
You can watch the official video for 'Hollow' here:
You can catch Bad Pollyanna live here:
Friday 1st November - Gothic Weekend, The Spa Pavilion, West Cliff, Whitby
Bad Pollyanna are:
Olivia Hyde - Vocals,/Piano
Stephen Kilpatrick - Guitar
Nikki Kontinen - Bass/Programming
Valerian Adore - Drums
Official Website: www.badpollyanna.com