Invention of Monsters’ first official indie release, “What’s an Up Without a Down?,” is an indie/alternative rock journey with obvious nods to artists like Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Tame Impala, and Talk Talk. With an intoxicating blend of haunting falsetto melodies, introspective and brooding lyrics, and an adventurous sonic landscape intertwined with synths from the 1980s and arpeggios on reverb-soaked guitars, the band captivates your ears and brings you something fresh while still feeling somewhat like that old familiar, alt-rock home.
Table of Contents
From the outset, the song envelops you in a sonic reverie with an intro guitar and synth (Juno 60) combination to build the tension. Invention of Monsters merges electronic synths and real guitars, taking cues from Radiohead’s playbook. The result is a delicately balanced mix of orchestral atmospheres and raw guitar chugs that hook you instantly.
“What’s an Up Without a Down?” showcases the band’s ability to craft a unique and memorable indie arrangement. The guitars bounce from delicate arpeggios to dirty guitar riffs and leads, drawing parallels to Manchester Orchestra’s light-then-aggressive-then-light-again style. Anchoring the rhythm is a pulsating bassline, a la Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, driving the track forward and giving listeners something to groove to. The electronic percussion section provides a dynamic heartbeat, occasionally erupting into bursts of intense crescendos only to then slow it down with sparse tom-tom sections to let delicate synth pads shine through.
Invention of Monsters Lyrical Themes
Lyrically, Invention of Monsters delves into existential themes, inviting listeners to ponder conflicting emotions and deeper explorations of our conscious mind. Can you really have an up without a down? Could you be happy if you could not be sad? Their introspective approach echoes the spirit of Radiohead and Porcupine Tree, encouraging deep introspection and thought-twisting journeys into the mind. The lead singer’s mesmerizing performance adds another layer of depth, effortlessly gliding through intricate melodies in a light falsetto and imbuing each word with vulnerability. Their vocals possess a captivating ethereal quality reminiscent of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, amplifying the emotional resonance and connection of the track.
What’s an Up Without a Down? Production
Production-wise, “What’s an Up Without a Down?” is a mishmash of hi-fi and lo-fi elements that combine for an inspiring piece of modern rock music. Every instrument is multi-tracked and soaked in reverb and/or other effects, resulting in a complex arrangement and overall sound that reveals new nuances with each listen. The track exudes a lo-fi quality while still remaining professional, similar to Mac DeMarco’s signature sound.
In summary, “What’s an Up Without a Down?” is a formidable first entry into the world of indie/alternative rock. Invention of Monsters’ intoxicating blend of minor key melodies, introspective lyrics, and lo-fi but meticulous production showcases their undeniable artistic vision with undeniable nods to all of their influences. Prepare to be ensnared by their sonic brilliance as they take you on an introspective journey that will resonate long after the final notes fade away and keep you wondering if it’s possible to live life in the grey.
You should listen to Invention of Monsters if…
you’re fans of:
- Tame Impala
- Manchester Orchestra
- Porcupine Tree
- or Queens of the Stone Age.
Where to listen to Invention of Monsters
Listen to What’s an Up Without A Down: