In Your Brain

Ubiquity • 2012

Records like »In Your Brain« happen when people blank out the last 30 years of music history and just carry on at the very time when psychedelic-funk turned into disco. Monophonics don’t give a rat’s ass about being up to date. Their third album breathes the timeless spirituality of Sly Stone or Curtis Mayfield, combined with psy-rock-borrowings from the late sixties. In the very best funkadelic manner, the formation of six works the psychedelic grinder, straps wah-wah to the rhythm guitar, dips keyboarder Kelly Finnigan’s vocals into spiritual echo-spirals and accentuates snappy brass sections on driving drum parts. Moments like »All Together« or the single »There’s A Riot Going On« transport the revolutionary notions of the libertines around 1968, but they consciously leave out any grandaddy-rocker attitudes. Instead of reboiling the known, the combination of funk/soul/psychedelic-rock is handled through a 2012 interpretation, without randomly mixing it up with elements of other eras. One of the record’s highlights (the Sonny Bono-cover »Bang Bang«) impressively proves how this coherent approach works out: a minimalistic easy-listening track turns into a progressive psychedelic-soul-opera, as if Norman Whitefield himself directed it all. The analog studio-atmosphere full of ribbon machines, vintage-mics and old effect-gadgets makes »In Your Brain« become a self-confident retrospective, rummaging between spaghetti-western-aesthetics and sunshine-acid. It’s hard to believe that this album really is from 2012. To follow a long beaten track does not have to be a sign of creative helplessness, it’s just a question of one’s aspiration.