The first thing you notice about Train Bigger Monkeys (TBM) is their name.
It’s hard not too.
While TBM may not have what would be considered a ‘Metal’ band name, that’s exactly what they are; and their sophomore album Divergence brings more face melting than any monkey could handle.
The most noticeable difference between Divergence and their debut album The Human Disgrace is the addition of vocalist Adam Benito who takes over after the departure of long time vocalist Brian Abildgaard.
Benito’s vocals introduce a meaty deep growl to TBM that gives the songs a modern metal aggression. Pair the vocals with lyrics—many of which were written by previous vocalist Abildgaard—that challenge the listener to engage their brains, and what you have is an album that could only have come from TBM.
Divergence was recorded and mixed in Calgary by Jess Charlton (Nas, Queens of the Stone Age, Finger Eleven) at Transcendent Sound Studios, which gives the album a polished and professional sound—something that was lacking from their debut album, an album that was recorded in their residential basement jam space.
Train Bigger Monkey – “Traversing The Storm”
TBM’s use of audio clips throughout the album has the two-pronged effect of adding some humour to songs like “Glass Case of Emotion,” which features a famous scene from a popular Will Ferrell movie or injecting some chilling eeriness, like in the song “Toe the Line” which features an opening monologue from serial killer Charles Manson. In both cases the audio clips set the tone for the songs and give the listener something familiar to hold on to while embarking on a new musical journey with TBM at the helm.
With most of the writing duties coming from guitarist Jason Carter and Alex Dobbins, Divergence showcases the evolution of these talented songwriters. Couple the guitars with the frantic pace of drummer Kevin Donovan’s beats and the back bone of bass player Bryce Gorman and you have an album made by a band that is ready to take the Calgary (and Canadian) metal scene by storm.
Divergence is available on iTunes July 1 and you can check out TBM with special guests at their album release party June 30 at Lord Nelson’s Bar & Grill in Calgary.
– Matt Beauchamp