While bands like Tennis, Cults, and Best Coast battled for blog buzz in 2010, cashing in on nostalgically inclined 20-somethings, Monster Rally quietly crafted one of the best albums that could loosely be pigeon-holed into this genre. Coral is, fundamentally, an instrumental album, but the energy and vibrancy spilling over on every track articulates the kind of emotion and personality usually conjured through vocals.

Listen to “Moonglow” – DOWNLOAD MP3

On “The Birds (Pts. 1-2)” you’re immediately taken in by the soft whistling and maraca loops, the track finally climaxing as tickling piano keys fade during the last minute of the track. The entirety of Coral has this vibe. Cool and calm, yet precise and intricate. The opening track on the album, “Color Sky,” is another example of this sample-laden pop music. As the twang of a bell and the beating of a dusty drum loop infinitely, the vocals of some unattributed woman singing, “Like a colored sky,” sets the tone. I like to think of the album as the kind of music J Dilla would be making if he ever got hold of the Numero catalogue. Maybe that is too high of praise, but Monster Rally’s Coral is not to be missed.

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