Conceptual Kansas City art-rock combo Monta At Odds continue their experimentation in sound with an expanded line-up and a new EP, Zen Diagram. Led by Dedric Moore and fueled from 2020’s angst and uncertainty, the band adopts a darker, grittier direction that coincides with a post-punk indulgence. The result is an evocative four-song tableau, showcasing the veteran project’s drive to explore sonic territory as they lay down some mesmerizing jams. Zen Diagram is a fully-packed production of spaced out dreamy sonic imagery that includes an otherworldly cover of the Tones On Tail classic “Movement Of Fear”.
“Tones on Tail has been one of the most revered bands in our circle of friends, says Dedric Moore. “It was really daunting to touch one of their songs. I also didn’t want to do it a disservice. I had a special show planned and the drummer and lead singer both were called away for work and personal matters. I thought it would be a good opportunity to do a one man performance of some new songs I was working on. I came across a bass tone that caught my ear and I thought why not try a version of ‘Movement of Fear’ in an unusual setting. It went over well and the whole place was dancing to the groove. There is something about that song that causes people to stop what they are doing and pay attention. When I saw Poptone live, the whole room not only stopped talking but froze in place for the whole song. The same thing happens when we start singing the opening lines. It’s been a small way we can help share the music of Tones on Tail and show our respect at the same time, he adds.”
Dedric continues, “It felt weird having the band watch me perform the song while they waited to play so I thought it would be cool to drop in a groove with the bass line. I programmed some drum patterns and added some synth lines. We then gave it a test run live and tweaked our parts. I love the song a lot and didn’t want to stray from the original too far.”
Brothers Dedric and Delaney Moore have been playing music together all their lives and have been exploring the Monta At Odds sound since the band’s debut in 2000. Dedric’s pulsing, melodic bass and Delaney’s artfully unhinged synthesizers frame the band’s central character, which is fleshed out by a talented cast of musicians and collaborators. Monta at Odds’ new Zen Diagram EP is available exclusively through Bandcamp until May 22, when it will hit streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Photos by Mark Allen
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