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CD REVIEW: Tim Ryan O'Kane - The Monsters Kiss

By: Cyrus Rhodes









Artist: Tim Ryan O'Kane
Album: The Monsters Kiss
Label: Independent Artist

Genre: Alternative Rock, Chill
Sounds Like: Incubus, Muse, NIN
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Teeth Fall Out, Dis(re)memberment
Weakness: Short Sided CD, Winded Songs. Sloppy Drum Performances



Brooklyn’s own Tim-Ryan O’Kane releases his debut CD entitled The Monsters Kiss in 2011. For the record Tim-Ryan O’Kane does vocals, plays piano, keyboards, & even sloppy drums. This CD has 6 tracks & is in a dream-type album concept.


The CD kicks things off with “Lullaby” slow flowing intro piece that serves up steady rock rhythm, against infectious vocal vibe, & hypnotic melody line. Track 2 “Running from the Swarm” shifts gears a bit with methodical drum beat against mesmerizing guitar rhythms, & hypnotic vocal layering. This coupled with mesmerizing lyrical content makes for a very interesting musical statement. Track 3 “Teeth Fall Out” serves up infectious rock ditty that flows & ebbs its way through to emotional fruition.  As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts such as Incubus, Jeff Buckley, NIN, & Muse. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of passion, variety & strong melodic structure. The songs themselves are addictive, & packed full of passionate lyrical content & subject matter that simply cannot be faked. The music itself is an impressive blend of rock, alternative rock with just a dash Industrial & chill. Along the way besides the typical 4 piece standard rock delivery I didn’t fail to notice well placed percussive accents, piano, keyboards, solo guitar, well placed harmonies, O’Kane makes no attempt at sugar coating the truth via his music, instead he tells the truth with bold honesty. His voice works well within the confines of this catalogue. I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks throughout the CD as well. No doubt O’Kane can hold his own vocally, as I didn’t fail to notice a few well-placed harmonies & impressive falsettos sprinkled here & there. Enter O’Kane’s musicianship - equally as impressive. What I like most about the music is its sheer unpredictability & amazing originality. Song for song you can never really predict what’s waiting for you around the next corner. Also present a barrage of sonic touches, electronic percussive elements, & sinister moog & keyboard accents all bringing even more musical variety to the table. From chilling “Trying to Fly” to hypnotic “Dis(re)memberment‘ this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 6 “Driving with a Stranger” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.


The CD is a bit short sided overall. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Some of the drum performances are a bit - how shall I say it -  sloppy.


The Monster’s Kiss is an impressive musical production from start to finish. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius that is Tim-Ryan O’Kane. He possesses enough musical talent & songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The music is clean, goes down smooth, & is full of amazing musical soundscapes that come at you from every direction. The messages are passionate, honest, & melancholy – all from the artist’s brilliant perspective. The true meaning of some of these songs is buried deep within the lyrical content, & is not so easily pinned down the first listen. I really admire artists out there who are themselves & just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that can show us something real & genuine beneath their veil of vanity. Tim-Ryan O’Kane is one of those artists.


Cyrus Rhodes