Two years since monotheism‘s reveal, the band dropped a five song live EP called rally. But all five songs on rally come from the band’s 2018 EP, inner. I would have thought that monotheism would include some of their newer songs. As the third release and one of the only opportunities for listeners to get a live sample of the band, rally is a showcase of the shoegaze, progressive, and psychedelic rock that monotheism favors.
If you’re a rock fan who enjoys heavy distortion, wandering and plodding verses that are mixed with instrumental-only melodies, monotheism is a great band for you. “Blue Math” is a barrage of noise. Pushed by the very low and distorted bass guitar with drums adding accents across every beat, “Blue Math” pretty much attacks your ears. The guitars move between chords and exploring the fretboard creating a expansive landscape. monotheism’s shoegaze and progressive elements lead towards longer sings. The shortest, “666,” is four seconds under four minutes with “Gloom” hitting 8:46.
This means that every song is given the necessary time to be birthed, live, and die. At times, you might wonder where you are in a track, but that only means that monotheism has captured your senses and the velocity of the song is serving its purpose. There is potential for shoegaze to get repetitive to a casual listener. The mainly instrumental-only composition and repetition can get boring at times, but monotheism is able to escape that.
Even though songs like “Dooms Day” might repeat verses, there is always something extra happening to build on the foundation. With five songs at 30 minutes, you are constantly being crushed or lightly sprinkled with waves of sound. This all depends on where on the track you are. I think this is what makes monotheism engaging. They are speaking solely through instruments and creating complex and addictive audio statements.
Shoegaze, progressive, and psychedelic music has a good number of bands that are worth discovering. While the genre has a lot of excellent releases, bands seem to record a single album and disappear. When you finally find a great band to follow, devour everything they release. monotheism isn’t the most prolific, but rally shows how powerful live music experience can be.