Aug 02, 2017

I was immediately struck by Monplaisir’s minimal, yet elegant, record design. All lyrics and album information are contained on a sleeve that wraps around the brown album jacket. The barebones packaging matches the seven songs captured on wax; however, the demo-quality production (four mics in a rehearsal space) undermines the band’s lush post-punk arrangements. Because the entire album lacks body, the guitar interludes end up sounding dull, and when the vocals kick in, they’re muffled and lifeless. Sure, it’s the singer’s “style” to sound bored, but the songs shouldn’t leave me feeling that way as well. Ultimately, Monplaisir’s more accessible interpretation of Sonic Youth works for me; sadly, the lackluster production prevents me from becoming totally invested. –Sean Arenas (Echo Canyon,