18th & ADDISON have just released their second studio album Makeshift Monster via their own 18th & Addison LLC label. Formed in Toms River, NJ by Kait DiBenedetto and Tom Kunzman as an acoustic duo, the group plugged in for their 2015 debut EP Little Parasites and never looked back. They both handle lead vocal duties and they harmonize exceptionally well. As far as the music goes there’s some melodic and indie rock, pop, and punk all thrown into one blender and the result is a delightful piece of ear candy reminiscent of days gone by but also sounding very contemporary.
Album opener and leadoff single “War” gets the party started on an upbeat note and gives way to “Moving Mountains.” I couldn’t help but get an early GOO GOO DOLLS vibe from this one, which is one of the things I obviously loved about it. Lyrically the duo often turns the cameras inward like on “Postcards.” “Hide and Seek” is a strong track with a chorus in half-time and “My Old Skin” boasts a powerful vocal from Kunzman, and jangly guitars, resulting in yet another winner. I can see the band performing this one in some club, sweat dripping off of them as they belt into their mics with conviction.
The heaviest track is “Knives” both DiBenedetto and Kunzman going back and forth line for line over some heavy distorted guitars and a pounding rhythm guaranteed to get folks moving. “Little Secrets” is rooted in mid-90’s modern rock and it’s the kind of song we would have heard all the time on the old Y-100 and WDRE here in Philly back then. It made me think a lot of my twenties and I caught myself smiling the whole time. Things turn acoustic for “Fix Me” and DiBenedetto sings with a longing that is palpable; you can FEEL it in what she’s saying.
Closer “Under the Water” is a rocker wrapped in a minuet and makes for some very interesting listening, while “All and Everything” is the closest thing to a ballad on the disc. “Disaster By Design” has that punk flair I mentioned earlier mixed with some new wave for good measure. Overall Makeshift Monster is a fun album that should please fans of alternative rock and pop from 20 years ago as well as the modern sounds of today. This duo has a ton of talent and they’re no doubt going places. There’s something for everyone here, so be sure and give 18th & ADDISON a go sometime soon, hmmm? You’ll be glad you did!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Little Secrets”, “Fix Me”, “Moving Mountains”, “Hide and Seek”, “My Old Skin”