Monsters of Folk is the rather awesomely-named project currently occupying the time of all your favorite shaggy troubadours (the official roster: Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, M. Ward and jack-of-all-trades Mike Mogis), and despite their insistence to the contrary — modesty and scruffiness do go hand-in-hand, after all — they are 100 percent a “supergroup.”
We can understand why the Monsters would object to being saddled with the title. After all, while the idea of a supergroup may seem pretty sweet (“Dude, it’ll be like an All-Star team … but a band!”), it turns out that the overwhelming number of them are actually pretty lousy (GTR? Zwan? The Firm?), the end result of poor planning and even poorer ego management.
Luckily, the Monsters are not terrible, as evidenced by their self-titled debut, which is due on September 22. Over 15 well-worn, strummy tracks (festooned with the occasional electro burble) they explore folk-y topics like religion, politics and — of course — life on the open road, the latter of which is especially fitting, considering they’re gearing up to tour the U.S. and Europe later this year.
And, of course, we told them this, which is why they finally agreed to not only talk about some of history’s greatest supergroups, but to rate them as well. So watch the Monsters weigh in on acts like Damn Yankees (let’s just say Oberst isn’t the biggest fan) and the Traveling Wilburys, plus non-musical supergroups like the Justice League and the 1992 USA Men’s National Basketball team (aka “The Dream Team”). You’ll be shocked to hear how much James actually knows about hoops.