I first met Joey and Tanner of To Kill a Monster heading back to our cars in the rain outside of Rock on the Range. They gave me their card and we made arrangements for me to photograph one of their performances.

On June 17, at the Park Street Saloon for a CD release party for The Orphan the Poet I got to see Tyler, Sam, Joey and Tanner perform. Of course, I listened to them on Spotify first, I didn’t want there to be any uncomfortableness should they not rock. Fortunately they did! 

They had great energy and stage presence and vocalist Joey Lawson's voice was just as clear as it was on the recordings and a bit more melodic than most punk . Had they not told me how new two of their members were to the group, I would have had no idea. They moved around on stage like they had been partying together for years. Each of them had their own dramatic look and poses about them, but never took themselves too seriously.

Their lyrics, their name, their performance is all about having fun and eliminating that which keeps us down. "I filled these airbags with confetti, so when we crash it's a party". Joey introduces a song, "This song is about being in love …to a zombie." They don't take anything too seriously. When you think you've just stumbled into a power ballad with Bear Song, it is as jovial as it is uplifting. 

Their music is much the same. Their sound pulls from whatever will help their fans find the release they need to walk away smiling. Just the simple addition of a tri-corner hat drove the audience crazy with anticipation. One woman near me tried to calm herself and explain to everyone that she just really loves this song. The song she was looking forward to was The Kraken Swag about friendship and venturing forward together to best the legendary monster.

If you like a little fun mixed in with your rock about friendship and unity, songs about bears with bear weapons, and even something that sounds like it was inspired by the NES version of Ninja Gaiden, congratulations! You'v found your new favorite band—To Kill a Monster.