A fantastic band! This is their best work, in my opinion. Saw them in a small venue early in 2015 and they brought the place down! In a good way…ByR. Williams…………
These guys are awesome musicians! Classic R&B with Soul and Blues. I want to see the. Live…..By Amazon Customer………………….
I would give this cd a perfect 10 if I could!! THIS IS ONE OF BEST CDs I’VE EVER HEARD!! If you like that old school 70s funky sound then this is the cd for you! It’s one of those cds that you can listen to with anyone with you. It’s a top 5 favorite cd and I’m glad that I bought it!!………..By Joseph L. Brown………….
Though I enjoyed New Mastersounds’ “Out on the Faultline”, Galactic’s “Carnivale Electricos” and Lettuce’s “Fly”, I have to say that this has become my favorite funk album of 2012. I would say they’re my favorite funk band out there today, but since Rock Candy Funk Party’s debut release of “We Want Groove” earlier this year, it’s a tough call. If you’re into classic funk and want to see how contemporary bands are re-inventing the sound, then be sure to check this album out…………..ByTye Felix…………………
Four years ago this classic album by the Monophonics was released. And they are currently on tour. Though there doesn’t seem to be much of anything of substance written on the band, this review of their latest comes closest to capturing their spirit. Now if you don’t know who the Dap-Kings are (as per quote below) you need to check out this small label that oozes with charm, class and talent (more on them in a later posting).The Monophonics are sort of a more psychedelic west coast counterpart to the Dap-Kings, masters of all things darkly slinky and soulful……………….
“One of the best live soul bands I have ever seen!” – Al Bell (Record producer, songwriter, executive, and co-owner of legendary Stax Records)
Raised amid the rich musical culture and history of the San Francisco Bay Area, Monophonics proudly carry the torch through the generations into today’s musical landscape. Holding on to tradition, but by no means purists of any kind, they play their own brand of music known as “Psychedelic Soul.” The 2012 release of Monophonics last album In Your Brain saw the band pulling influences from such acts as early Funkadelic, Sly and The Family Stone and the The Temptation’s Norman Whitfield produced records. With the new album, Sound of Sinning (April 1, 2015 on Transistor Sound Records), the band has grown in all areas of record making and felt a need to explore other important influences.
While the group has come to cherish these inspirations, With Sound of Sinning they started venturing beyond, to the groups that were inspiring those soul acts to embrace the psychedelic sound of the 60’s and 70’s. Bands such as The Zombies, The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd. Even with the experimentation of new musical territory, they display the sound that people know and love about Monophonics. Touching on Northern soul, doo-wop, rock and roll, Psych pop, and cinematic music, Monophonics show off their diversity while remaining true to their roots. Overall it’s heartfelt music and old school vibes, without losing sight of the present. This is is music steeped in that timeless feeling when people could write and produce songs that you could listen to over and over again. Sound of Sinning was produced by Kelly Finnigan & Ian McDonald and recorded on an old Tascam eight-track 1/4” tape machine at Transistor Sound Studios in San Rafael, CA.
Monophonics is Austin Bohlman (Drums), Myles O’Mahony (Bass/Background Vocals), Ian McDonald (Guitar/Background Vocals), Ryan Scott (Trumpet/Background Vocals/Percussion) & Kelly Finnigan (Keys/Lead Vocals) along with a rotating 2nd horn usually filled by Nadav Nirenberg (Trombone) from Ikebe Shakedown and Breakdown Brass……
For the past decade, ‘retro soul’ sounds have been somewhat of a touchstone for artists and audiences looking for musical authenticity. As a fan of vintage R&B, soul, funk, etc, it’s been great to see/hear new artists create new music with a sound that I hold so dear. At the same time, it’s been a bit worrying. How long could this trend last? Will groups just continue to recreate vintage sounds and eventually devolve into bad Motown pastiches or will those sounds be a springboard (hopefully) to something new that embraces yet transcends its influences? In Your Brain by The Monophonics answers those questions for me. Fortunately, it’s the latter and the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’ Mining a similar vein as early Funkadelic and Frankie Beverly’s Raw Soul, fuzzed out psychedelic guitar riffs collide with heavy funk beats and are topped off with spacey echoes. However, the album is much more than just a collection of genre melding sounds solid songwriting is the core of this collection. It’s this focus on the song craft that keeps ‘In Your Brain’ from falling into the category of “bad pastiche”. Three songs that stick out in my mind are the dubby and timely R&B of “There’s A Riot Going On” (think Lee Perry meets Screamin’ Jay Hawkins), the psych-funk of “All Together Now” (featuring Orgone’s Fanny Franklin), and their epic version of Sonny Bono’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”. Sonically, In Your Brain sounds like a dream band featuring Dennis Coffey, the Funk Brothers, & Dr. John recording at Black Ark studios. However, this record is much more than just a culmination of sonic influences. The writing at the heart of the LP helps make this something completely original as well as something rooted in the past. I once read a Robert Wyatt quote about Paul Weller that I think is applicable. To paraphrase it, the Monophonics, like master carpenters, have created new furniture from seasoned wood. ‘In Your Brain’ by the Monophonics will be released by Ubiquity Records on May 15th. words/ c weaver……………..
Monophonics will knock your socks off, one of the most rocking soul bands you’ll ever hear. Fan of early Funkadelic? Well these guys draw right from that era, providing hard grooves with plenty of fuzz guitar to go along. This is loud, their sound takes elements from hard rock and Afrobeat and puts it all into a psychedelic soul vibe. Actually before looking up the songs on the album, I was under the impression that most of them were covers cause they sounded like vintage songs but with a modern twist and it turns out that it’s all their compositions minus three songs (Sure Is Funky from The Lost Generation, Thinking Black from Ike Turner and Bang Bang from Cher). I really love the sound of the album, just hard as hell with those crispy drums that could easily be sampled by boom bap producers and an all around overpowering feeling that really gets down in your bones. Can’t wait to check out more from this band!….by….diction………
One of the best live bands around. Their funk/soul is infectious and if they ever tour near you, just go! you won’t be sorry you did. The album is pretty good at reenacting the power from the stage. Unfortunately, it just can’t be as good because of what the music is made out of: blood, sweat and lots of soul! Highly recommended if you like anything similar to the JB’s, Isaac Hayes, Sly and consorts….by………artaudbvandersmith ……..
San Francisco, the end of the sixties. Peace and love on Haight / Ashbury; Santana and Sly & the Family Stone riding high in popularity. Heady times. San Fran’s Monophonics were all too young to be there at the time of course but the era has had a profound influence on them as has the music of the likes of Sly & The Family Stone, Norman Whitfield and Funkadelic.
With their third release,”In Your Brain”, heavy, chugging grooves laced with wah-wah, horns, spacey organ and psychedelic vocals are the order. It’s fuzzy, gritty and refreshingly different. Mixed by that other heavy cat, Sergio Rios from Orgone, it sounds suitably out there. It’s been a few years since I last visited San Fran but I’d like to think this would be a fitting soundtrack for the city’s hippest hangs.
One of the standout tracks here is “There’s A Riot Going On”. Perhaps this was intended to be the ‘missing’ track from Sly’s 1971 hit LP (it appears on the track listing at the end of side one, but is silent and clocks in at 0:00 running time. Sly never intended the track to be there of course, explaining that he “felt there should be no riots”). The Monophonics’ ‘version’ is a fitting imagination of what it might have sounded like, with socio-political lyrics fitting of both the times then and now.
“Deception” drops the tempo and stretches out nicely, while Fanny Franklin is the ideal choice of guest vocalist for the rousing “All Together”, her voice really effective against the undulating, heavy groove and Sly-ish background vocals. Also somewhat Sly-ish is, “Say You Love Me” featuring some nice sitar over a slow burning groove, singer Kelly Finnigan’s well suited vocal and gentle organ solo. “Foolish Love” is a stretched out groove that sounds like a Norman Whitfield production with its acid drenched funk. We also get two well chosen covers – Ike Turner’s “Thinking Black” fits right in with the template and packs a thrilling dance floor punch. For their excellent take on Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang”, the band produce a heavy arrangement that sounds great and sets it apart from the original.
“In Your Brain” effectively and authentically delivers a solid psychedelic soul funk experience. It’s a fine tribute to their influences while coming across as firmly their own sound. More power to Monophonics……….BY PHILSTER………..
Tracklist A1 Looking Ahead 1:39 A2 There’s A Riot Going On 3:58 A3 In Your Brain 5:02 A4 Sure Is Funky 3:48 B5 Deception 4:55 B6 All Together 3:08 B7 Say You Love Me 4:27 B8 They Don’t Understand 4:24 C9 Mirage 6:31 C10 Foolish Love 7:57 D11 Thinking Black 3:23 D12 Bang Bang 3:36 D13 Temptation 6:10 D14 Keep Looking Ahead 1:35