Mons La Hire’s Warning Lights EP, Release May 19 at Interzone

One of the benefits of working for a newspaper is finding out about stuff first. From breaking news to entertaining community bickering, it’s pretty great. However, those things don’t even register when it comes to getting your hands on a wonderful record before it’s released. I spent the last few days listening to the brand new EP from local rock act Mons La Hire, Warning Lights, and for that I feel pretty thankful.

If you don’t already know Mons La Hire, let me introduce you to Daniel Watkins (vocals, guitar), Suzanne Watkins (bass, vocals), Julia Miller and Ida Jane (both on keyboard, guitar, and vocals), and Patrick Beesley (drums). Collectively influenced by bands like The Strokes, Ben Folds Five, and Weezer, Mons (if I may call them Mons…) offers up a fuzzy indie sound that’s got its own brand of measured aggression, but is ultimately drenched in elegance. This is all capped off by narrative lyrics that had me actually concerned about the subject, which I found both weird and pleasurable.

Warning Lights goes from delivering what you really need with tracks like Timothy Everett (Is Late For Work) and Parallels, to delivering what you didn’t know you needed with Lost Cause. If you’ve got a hunger for quality rock, you know exactly what I mean. There are four other truly inspired tracks to whet your ear whistle, all with unique variations on the overall theme, all well-crafted. When people talk about a record being “solid,” this is exactly what they mean. Was it expertly curated, or are they just incapable of writing a lackluster song? Does it really matter? Not so much. Over the years Corvallis has produced some seriously class acts, and there’s no denying these folks rank among them. Essential listening for the Corvallisite rock music fan.

If you want to buy the record, they’re offering a digital version ($5) as well as a limited physical release ($8) – but trust me, you’re going to want the latter. Not only does it have an extra track (Lost Cause does not appear on the digital release), but the artwork is hand printed by artist Rebecca Watkins and looks great. You can pre-order a copy at, or check the band out on Facebook (

To add to the good news, Mons La Hire is taking the stage at Interzone May 19 with two other noteworthy Corvallis bands, The Wrented and Adieu Caribou. What a lineup, right? This is essentially the Warning Lights EP release party. Hear the band live and walk out with an armful of shirts, pins, and of course – the album. Everything goes down at 7 p.m., so be sure to show up early.

By Johnny Beaver