|Monomyth — Happy Pop Family (November 4, 2016)|
Monomyth — Happy Pop Family (Nov. 4th, 2016) ψ≡ψ Hook~laden, psych~tinged slabs of jangle/power pop/heartland rock goodness from this Halifax~based indie rock quartet.
ψ≡ψ Happy Pop Family is the latest offering from Monomyth, Canada’s leading purveyors of mid~fi anthemic bedroom pop. Recorded in February of 2015 with Mike Wright (Each Other) at Montreal’s infamous Drones Club, the album has tweaked and refined the sonic palette of their 2014 debut Saturnalia Regalia. The resulting batch of songs is imbued with an almost Blake≈ian wonder, delicately balancing like Charlie Chaplin on a taut guitar cable between innocence and experience.
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia ~ Montreal, Québec, Canada
Album release: November 4, 2016
Record Label: Mint
01 Aloha 2:53
02 Puppet Creek 2:23
03 Re: Lease Life (Place 2 Go) 4:49
04 Drinking in Bed in E 2:37
05 Cool Blue Hello 4:26
06 Falling in Love 2:35
07 High on Sunshine 2:40
08 Go Somewhere 2:13
09 Palpitations 2:41
10 New Year’s Resolve 3:34
11 Fuck With Me 2:18
℗ 2016 Mint Records, Inc.
ψ≡ψ Limited edition silkscreened copies, hand~numbered out of 50.
ψ≡ψ Released for Halifax Pop Explosion 2016.
ψ≡ψ Includes a printed insert.
√ Art Direction — Joshua Salter
√ Art Direction [With Major Assistance From] — Allison Higgins
√ Band [Monomyth] — Andrew Mazerolle, Scott Grundy, Josh Salter, Seamus Dalton
√ Mastered: Richard White
√ Mixed: Mike Wright
√ Recorded: Mike Wright
By Matthew Ritchie, Published Nov 04, 2016 / Score: 8
ψ≡ψ The words “Canadian indie rock” don’t have the same shine they once did, but in a year when bands with guitars faded further in popularity, Halifax~bred musicians Seamus Dalton and Josh Salter have made not one, but two of the best home~grown pop albums of the year. If Nap Eyes’ sophomore effort Thought Rock Fish Scale — which both band members were a part of — was “the year’s first classic indie rock album,” then Happy Pop Family, Monomyth’s first with multi~instrumentalist Scott Grundy (Heaven For Real) and bassist Andrew Mazerolle, may be the last.
ψ≡ψ As Salter recently told Exclaim!, Happy Pop Family is an album without a real concept. Instead, it’s a record by four friends made up of bite~sized, easily digestible earworms that continue a tradition first laid out by their scenester forefathers in the Super Friendz and Sloan.
ψ≡ψ Even more concise than 2014’s Saturnalia Regalia! (most songs clock in under three minutes) and with less string~skipping, Happy Pop Family is a melodic, riff~y, playful affair that references the past, both sonically and lyrically (“Cool Blue Hello,” with its allusion to early '90s power pop group Cool Blue Halo and their hometown hit Kangaroo; “Fuck With Me,” which expertly lifts a chorus from the Human League for its ending), but with enough Millennial malaise to keep things current (“Aloha”; “Re: Lease Life (Place 2 Go),” an East Coast, equally existential version of “Stoned and Starving” if there ever was one).
ψ≡ψ If you see these guys, buy them a beer, because they’re keeping the Canadian indie rock dream alive.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra; Score: ****
ψ≡ψ The four guitar pop~loving lads in the Halifax group Monomyth had to know when they started making jangling, hooky indie rock that it would be hard to escape the shadow of the bands that came before them. Indeed, their first album, 2014’s Saturnalia Regalia!, sounded like nothing more than a DNA splice of Eric’s Trip and Sloan that fused the former band’s scruffy charm with the latter’s sure~handed way with a tune. Not a bad way to enter the music scene, but for their second album, the guys take a wider musical view and mix some new ingredients into the cheerfully poppy sound. Most of the tracks have the same basic feel and high degree of easygoing catchiness, with the opening “Aloha” basically nailing it right out of the gate. From there the band swerve from sound to sound, changing up guitar parts track to track — sometimes blown out and gritty, sometimes super jangly — and adding the occasional keyboard accent. There are laid~back, almost country~rock ballads (“Puppet Creek”), rambling psych pop songs that have frantically dueling guitars (“Falling in Love”), super trippy jams (“High on Sunshine”), drawling Pavement~fronted~by~Alex Chilton~sounding rockers (“New Year’s Resolve”), and lots of top~notch indie rock that benefits greatly from the combo's youthful exuberance and carefree approach. There’s even a beautiful pop song that channels Teenage Fanclub’s sunniest, most fragile moments and Monomyth gives the song a polite Canadian upgrade. The album sounds like a bunch of guys hanging out and jamming on some nice tunes, not trying too hard or caring too much, and that’s why even though they aren’t doing anything that hasn’t been done a million times before, it works so well. Despite their seeming nonchalance, the arrangements are mostly tight and thought out, the songs are clear and hook filled and best of all, there’s not a single second of filler or fluff on the record. The band’s first album was an impressive debut that staked a claim for them as the next great band from Halifax. Happy Pop Family makes good on that promise.
|Monomyth — Happy Pop Family (November 4, 2016)|