Daxton Monaghan, as an artist, is a wonderful mixture of influences, sounds and styles, but then any artist worth their salt should be and In Verses contains a collection of slick rock, infectious pop, bluesy grooves and chiming psychedelic infused songs. There is something inherently American about his sound and if you were to push the point you would probably have to say from below the Mason Dixon line, that bluesy heart that beats at the core, that alternative radio vibe, it all points to the traditions of Southern music but heard through a modern, commercial filter. It therefore comes as a bit of a shock to find that he is actually from Australia.
But that just shows you how small the modern musical world actually is and all the better for it. In Verses wanders through some glorious pop-rock territory, Power and Glory being an anthemic, stadium-land sing along, Water Goes Dry is loaded with psych-pop as filtered through the same revisionist musical machine as fellow antipodeans The Church, and Ball and Chain is a slow groove bluesy boogie as good as anything that came out the hey day of Southern Rock.
It’s a solid album, a generically exploratory album, a deftly crafted album but more than anything it is packed with great songs and that, after all, is where it all starts from. Get the fundamentals right and the rest will follow.