Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Album Review: Von Mons - Shakin' with Von Mons

Von Mons
Shakin' with Von Mon's
*** out of *****

The Asbury Park, NJ based quartet the Von Mons return their newest collection of garage rocking tunes titled Shakin' with Von Mons. The outfit mix surf rock with poppy punk, varying the dosages from song to song, staying in that narrow focus while they deliver their hip swaying retro-rock and roll. 

Owing a huge debt to The Ramones the Jersey group channel the Queens legends in all ways as the singing style mimics Joey, the guitars recall Johnny and the catchiness brings in Dee Dee's songwriting style. Having grown up at the shore, the surf influence also seeps in and that combo makes for winning sounds. 

Opening with "Shakin'" the group splits the difference between surf rock and pop punk while splashing in some acoustic sounds for augmentation. Each song lives up to the albums title, yet the vocals are deliberately distorted throughout making it tough to understand a chunk of the verses. When the lyrics do come through, like on the humorously twangy "Como" and the country spiced closer "Dreams" they are solid; pulling back on the vocals distortion is a must for their next go around. 

As it stands though Shakin' with Von Mons scratches an itch with ominously tinged "Knockin'" the gender confused duo of "Boy" and "TV Girl" which question around ripping guitars. "She Said" recalls the 80's Malibu based Surf Punks, but the Von Mons stay closer to home throughout the record. 

Efforts like the woo-ooh backing vocal accented "Again", "Snake Charmer" and "Saigon" all directly sound like Ramones outtakes, in a good way, yet they walk that fine border of homage and rip off. It matters little though as the overall aesthetic and sound is lively throughout the brief Shakin' with Von Mons: a retro looking surf-punk album with sandy grit in the guitars, beach ball bounce in the bass and blitzkrieg bop in the drums.         
Having seen the band live and enjoyed them, it was great to see them put this album out. 
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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