Music Reviews
False Dancers

Monogamy Party False Dancers

(Good to Die Records) Rating - 7/10

“Problem Child Rock:” If I had to invent a musical category so as to easily file a band like Monogamy Party, that would be it.  More than just an over-trod and simple expression of parental, societal and authoritarian disdain, Monogamy Party’s new album, False Dancers, could be the sound of growing pains, its fury a byproduct of frustration rather than rage.  From the radiating first sounds of Blank Stare, vocalist Kennedy doesn’t so much sing or scream as he loudly announces.  “You take one look around the room…  Nobody wants you!  I guess you’re going home alone!” he declares, a tone of severity applied generously to convey his discomfort as a guitar growls beneath. 

Hailing from Seattle, which evidently remains a reliable epicenter for relatable and amplified angst, Monogamy Party plays a rhythmically loose brand of heavy noise rock, toying with speed and guitar effects as Kennedy details what it is to be in the throes of both rejection and resignation.  Not so much a riff-reliant mix, Yos-wa’s oft-sturdy bass rhythms provide the only true notes found herein while guitarist Ricky chokes his fret board in search of something on the level of aural corrosion.  Crimes, which was released online as the album’s first single, exemplifies this tendency for strings to be ground into oblivion, cultivating an air of dissonance almost as alienating as where the band is topically.  That being said, though, Monogamy Party also makes an attempt to swing, finding a hi-tempo stride that fuses the elements together in as close to a melody as the band is probably willing to get.  Ashamed in particular is probably the best example of this:  a resigned series of bass riffs and guitar hums transitioning into a high-energy dance of low end, percussion and shocks of escalating guitar chords. 

Songs like Ordinary Things and Wasted Time go far in defining the band as this amalgam of heavy disenchantment and violent boredom, the latter song in particular delivered like a stream-of-consciousness weighed down by Quaaludes and carbon dioxide.  Truly claustrophobic and comparable to the tired suburban existence at the core of Big Black’s Kerosene, Wasted Time stews in its persona, its pace slow enough to state, “Home is where I am/Only places I have been/I don’t wanna waste my time/I don’t wanna waste my time.”  It’s a lazy affirmation, sluggishly declared before the song momentarily gets on its feet and it’s very effective. 

However, False Dancers does lose some of its momentum as AmRep-styled numbers like Walls, Blood and Show and Tell work to simply maintain a consistent air of aggression.  Terrible Mistake delivers a heavy jolt before Cold Machine closes the album.  Ten songs’ worth of wild refrains bathed in acidic tone, Monogamy Party’s efforts end as if exhausted, a plucked bass riff anchoring Cold Machine and allowing a few more rounds of intensity to transpire before giving the malcontents their well-deserved rest.