like a doll that’s fragile and old
like a blood mark staining your clothes
is it you or is it me
how funny life can be
London-based duo Monochromatic Visions weaves together shoegaze, post-punk, and new wave, ranging from the insular to the sublime. Their winsome sketches of sound echo bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cure, The Raveonettes, and Joy Division, with a dash of the synth-punk dreams of Alan Vega and Martin Rev.
The band was first conceived in 2014 by Arthur Pegis who solely wrote, produced, and recorded the project’s early releases. He was later joined by Thomas Bagnoli, and then together as Monochromatic Visions they went on to support acts such as Tonstartssbandht (with Mac De Marco’s guitarist Andy White) and spiritual psychedelic rockers TAU.
The band’s new album Reform is a brilliant cascade of distorted instrumentation with a sound that fluctuates between introspective synth soundscapes and anthemic guitars, accented by tenebrous vocals channeling Jim Reid of JAMC at times. The result aural melange ranges from the insular to the majestic with their reverie of reverb, riffs, and repetition.
The record begins with the caustic fuzz-laden void of “Negative Girl”, which gives way to the melodic exuberance of “Fireworks”. This is followed by the cavernous and captivating drone of “Strange” whose cresting guitars soar in between effects-laden vocals, joining in unison as the song progresses.
“Faces” is driven by mechanical drums, a haunting cascade of guitars of bass, and mesmerizing vocal poetry, which is followed by the single “Run”, a song that pulls the veil back on the guitars, looping an anthemic riff that is chill-inducing with its transcendent emotional euphoria. Next is another single, “Lost,” which serves a sonic journey through personal evolution, sounding both soft and abrasive as the melody shudders through the conclave of noise.
“Trauma” is a sorrowful instrumental lament that marches onward to the beat of anguish drums and dirgeful guitars that feels like the soundtrack to the kind of cathartic resolve gathered after going through hell and back.
The album closes with the shimmering “Sabre”, the band’s first single that paved the way for the release of Reform. With a marvelous looping dream-pop melody that swirls with a ray of hope in the face of darkness, “Sabre” cuts through the gloom and lets the light shine through.
Listen to Reform below:
Written and recorded in East London, Monochromatic Vision’s new album Reform was produced in Brooklyn, New York by Jared Artaud (The Vacant Lots) and mixed alongside Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, The Rolling Stones, Sonic Youth) who also mastered it.
Created in the most unusual of times during the global pandemic, its themes explore the process of untethering from the past to evolve and reform into a better version of one’s self. Written and recorded in East London, the record was produced in Brooklyn, New York by Jared Artaud( of The Vacant Lots )and mixed alongside Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Ted Young (Kurt Vile, The Rolling Stones, Sonic Youth) who also mastered it.
Pick up Reform on a limited edition cassette here.
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