Monster Island Plus

“A blend of folk, acoustic, rock and experimental music that began in Bruce Hall and migrated to Fry Street, then to Dallas and beyond” — that’s how Edward L. Holland (’89) describes the new CD Del Otro Galaxia from Monster Island Plus, a band of UNT students who played their own brand of music in the 1980s.
Founding members Holland and Tim Pope (’90, ’93 M.S.) reunited at a wedding party in 2008 and gathered in North Texas last fall for the recording project, along with Sam McCall of Brutal Juice fame and Austin bluegrass player Marc Utter (’94).
The CD is a mix of acoustic/electric originals and covers, including songs from the 1969 Star Trek episode “The Way to Eden,” in which space hippies try to take over the U.S.S. Enterprise. 
“It’s considered to be one of the worst episodes from the entire series, but we contrarily consider it to be one of the best,” says Holland, now a practicing military paralegal for the U.S. Navy in California. “Without permission to officially record these songs in our own style, we probably would never have cut the album.”
The project was mixed in Durango, Colo., by McCall, a former UNT student who was in the Denton band Brutal Juice when it was signed to Interscope Atlantic Records in the early ’90s. He also was involved in recording the bands Caulk and Baboon at the time.
Special guests featured on Del Otro Galaxia are Texas native Annie Benjamin on vocals and flute, and guitarist Takashi O’hashi with the Japanese band Seikima-II. Art graduate David Lamb (’89) assisted with the CD’s final graphic design.
“We always enjoyed playing music from many different genres, and UNT was a great place to learn about different types of music,” Pope says. “It was an amazing experience getting together with these guys and making music again. The technology has changed, but the good old vibe is still there.”

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