CD Review: Pale Monsters “Are You Feeling Alive?”

Pale Monsters is the name of a Boston area band that consists of: Singer/guitarist Chris Mulvey, Bassist/singer/producer Kevin McGrath, Keys/guitarist Mike Ward and Drummer Travis Richter. Together, the band creates their music by taking several different styles of music and blending them together. The band’s sound has elements of New Wave, Alternative Rock as well as Indie Rock and a little Art Rock thrown in. This blend helps to create a sound that alternates between being rather commercial at one point and being commercially underground at other times. 

Since 2016, the band has been shaping their sound. And with that has come one five-song EP called Take What You Can Take. However, the band has been rather busy as they have been writing more music to add to that EP. Just recently, the band has finished creating their new ten-song album release. That 2018 album is called Are You Feeling Alive?

The Are You Feeling Alive? album from Pale Monsters begins with the first single off the release called “All This Time We Wait”. The track features a strong Rock and Roll feel to the music that shaped by the guitar but is also strongly flavored by a keyboard that is either laidback or rather prominent, depending on the point in the song. “All This Time We Wait” is a song that could be New Wave or Indie Pop, depending on how you interpret the tune. The feel of the song and the vocal delivery from Chris Mulvey create a track that could have been popular on college radio back in the eighties. However, with the throwback feel of much of today’s music, “All the Time We Wait” could be just as popular on today’s radio formats.

Pale Monsters’s new album continues with the track that led to the band’s moniker. The title of the track “Pale Monsters” is a statement made in reference to the literary character Moby Dick. People liked the title and the title became the band’s moniker. The song itself finds the band creating a New Wave track that could easily have been written back in the late seventies/early eighties. In fact, the track features an off-kilter feel to the music that could easily remind some listeners of the style created by the band Devo. “Pale Monsters” mainly features a strong guitar presence but also comes with a synthesizer feel that matches the energy of the guitar almost one hundred percent.

The track “Everybody (Take What You Can Take)” is the title track to the band’s previous EP release. The track takes the feel of the music from Pale Monsters back to the Glam Rock era. “Everybody (Take What You Can Take)” is a track that features a musical approach that seems to fall between several different style of music. The music of the track brings to mind pre-New Wave bands like Pere Ubu or T. Rex who were adding more creativity into the music during their times.

With the track “Until the End,” Pale Monsters creates one of the hardest rocking tracks of the Are You Feeling Alive? album. The track features guitars that help give the track a full-out Rock and Roll approach. In fact, “Until the End” could easily fit nicely into any Modern Rock radio formats. Any music lover interested in Modern Rock will truly enjoy the sound of “Until the End”.

Are You Feeling Alive? continues with the track “Bombs Away”. The track features a strong Indie Rock feel to the instrumental music that makes up the rather short track. Of course, the song segues into the next track of “Buzzed Out,” so the rather short playtime is understandable.

The next track of “Buzzed Out” is one track on the Are You Feeling Alive? album from Pale Monsters that truly allows the band’s Art Rock influences to shine through. Just like with a band like Pere Ubu, this track features a strained vocal delivery from singer/guitarist Chris Mulvey that adds a slightly Punk-Pop feel to the music itself.

Are You Feeling Alive? from Pale Monsters comes to an end with the song “Gone”. The track slows the pace of the music down quite a bit. But as this happens to be the final track, that is acceptable as it makes the release feel as if it is coming to an end. Like the rest of the album, the song of “Gone” contains a New Wave/early Alternative Rock feel. But more than that, the track takes on a musical approach that seems to have been influenced by British New Wave/ Alternative Rock band Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (better known as OMD). In fact, the entire musical approach on the “Gone” track brings to mind OMD’s early nineties era during which they had released their Sugar Tax album. “Gone” and its musical approach feel as if it would have felt right at home within that album.

The Are You Feeling Alive? album from Pale Monsters finds the Boston-based band creating a release that makes use of many different influences. That musical blend creates an album that ends up being very strong from beginning to end.


The Are You Feeling Alive? album from Pale Monsters will be released in March 2018. Until then, check out the video to the song “Everybody (Take What You Can Take)”. 

For more information, check out the band’s PR Firm, WHIPLASH PR