Last September, Monobody grabbed the attention of the Chicago music scene after filming their eight-minute enterprise “Curry Courier Career.” The ensuing hype that swept through the Internet all started in the basement of the Naked Ally HQ in Chicago. On April 7, their anticipated self-titled debut was released on the same label. The band features Nnamdi Ogbonnaya on drums, Collin Clauson on Keyboards, Conor Mackey and Guitar, and both Steve Marek and Al Costis on bass.
The album starts out with soothing guitar sweeps followed by melodic syncopation on their first track, “Lifeguard of a Helpless Body.” The flurries of guitars take us through the song’s dreamscape, as the euphoric keyboards, slapping bass-line, and pounding drums set the structure.
Monobody move to combine classical and new-age electronic on the next track, “I Heard Them on the Harbor.” On this song, breathy synthesizers and glitchy samples accompany Costis’ upright bass line. As jaw dropping as listening to the musicianship on this album is, seeing them play live is the truly ethereal experience. And “I Heard Them on the Harbor” is a prime example why. The sharp synthesizers and dancey beat at the climax will have you looking up when their next show is before you know it.
Overall, Monobody’s sound resembles a mathier, jazzier combination of Mogwai and Sigur Rós. We experience their range of meaty guitar tapping on “Exformation” to an incorporation of tango and jazz-funk fusion, like we hear on “Gilgamesh (R-Texas).” Peppered throughout the album are moments of Aphex Twin-like synths, making their sound unique through a wide blend of influence.
Their technical musicianship makes listening to their album an adventurous experience. And just like every experience has an end, “Country Doctor” brings the album to its close. A sad sounding piano riff starts the culmination,with harsh trumpet over heavy guitar drones following suit. Like the ending to a sad movie, the song resolves the listener’s emotions to a melodramatic equilibrium.