Monogamy: Tonight Looks Bad (Fish People Birds, 2021)

February 28, 2021 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Monogamy: Tonight Looks Bad

D. Alfred Lyons III has been making nervous, bummed-out lo-fi pop as Monogamy for around a decade or so, in both solo and full band formats. This is the debut album by Monogamy the band, and it’s a well rounded sampler of their various moods and methods. Their more approachable pop side is represented by songs like “Blue Can”, the fuzzy duet “The Roaches Are Back” (with its insistent chorus “You don’t exist, you’re nonexistent to me!”), and the almost SLGTM-esque “Never Seen You Dance” (it’s no coincidence that Fred Thomas mastered the album). Elsewhere other songs are slower and more anxiety-stricken, with more bluntly honest yet artful lyrics about depression. Curiously, a more dirgey version of “Low Morale” (a punky highlight of their 2016 7″ EP) appears early on in the album. “I’m Sad All the Time” makes its intentions pretty clear, although the synths and saxophones liven up the mood a little bit. The rest of the album is far more experimental, starting with the clanging industrial synthscape collage of “Frag the Ones That Die”. The final three tracks are longer and more grief-stricken, mixing shoegaze droniness with coldwave bleakness. While the first side might have some tracks that can help you dance to try and shake off the cobwebs, the second side leaves you no choice but to come face to face with existential dread.

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