Wednesday, July 19th, 2006
Having seen Los Angeles’ Monsters Are Waiting in March at SxSW, I figured I knew what to expect from their debut album Fascination, released yesterday. Slightly spastic new wave revivalist pop which I would find fun in smallish doses but perhaps tiring over the long haul. Well to my pleasant surprise, there’s more going on here than I expected.
The record opens with “Last Goodbye”, which is an unexpected dose of pure pop. Perfectly balancing melancholy and jubilation, Annalee Fery’s voice the epitome of sweetness, backed by chiming, overdriven guitars and lightly squelching synths. This is one of those songs you could put on repeat for hours on end. Well, maybe a couple hours. From there, the band steps out of the sunshine a bit. The guitars get stabbier and sharper and Fery becomes a little more unhinged and the further along you go, the more you realize that maybe someone’s not taking that “last goodbye” all that well. “Don’t Go” is more than a little delightfully demented with Fery’s panicky little girl squealing over the bridge, and a marked contrast to her dead-eyed monotone over “Firefly”. Second-to-last song “Monsters” brings some bounce back to the proceedings and closer “Time” is a lovely, glistening coda to what I’m sure was never meant to be a concept record, but there it is.
Boasting more than a little LA cool and a sexy, magnetic frontwoman, Monsters Are Waiting could have big things in store for them – New York Press attributes much of that potential to Fery’s hair. Spin also dubbed the Band Of The Day last month. You could easily use Metric as a point of comparison but Monsters have that “just a little crazy” edge that I find quite appealing. And I prefer brunettes…
MP3: Monsters Are Waiting – “Nobody”
MP3: Monsters Are Waiting – “Christine”
Video: Monsters Are Waiting – “Last Goodbye” (MySpace)
Video: Monsters Are Waiting – “Fascination” (MySpace)
MySpace: Monsters Are Waiting
The Hold Steady will release their new album Boys And Girls In America on October 3 (via Clicky Click). Pitchfork has some deets. Expect to hear them preview the new material when they play Lee’s Palace on August 31.
The first song and video from the new Pernice Brothers album is up for grabs. Go here and sign up for the mailing list to see/hear “Somerville” from Live A Little, which has no release date as of yet. I’d link them directly but I don’t want Catbirdseat to think I’m a dick. And anyway, the mailing list updates are generally informative and fun.
Andy Partridge talks to Paste about the nervous breakdown that took XTC off the road for good. Since they’re not touring and not on strike from their label, are they ever going to release something that’s not a) archival or b) a milking of the Apple Venus sessions? That was seven years ago. C’mon.
As noted in the comments yesterday, The Cardigans have a show tenatively scheduled for September 20 at the Opera House. The operative word here is “tenative”, as Magnus Sveningsson notes nothing has been confirmed. So hold off on buying from Ticketmaster come Thursday, just in case.
And speaking of forthcoming Fall tours, the first dates for Mojave 3’s North American jaunt are up – expect the Toronto show somewhere between October 11 (Chicago) and October 19 (Boston).
Not content to bury just alt.country (see yesterday), The New York Times writes an obituary for CD stores. Sadly, I can’t rebut this one as well – Flash’N’Crash gave up the ghost last week and the Annex is poorer for it.
np – The Mountain Goats / The Sunset Tree