Album Review: The Psychotic Monks-‘Private Meaning First’

The Psychotic Monks

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Review: The Psychotic Monks’ Private Meaning First-Release date November 27, 2020 via FatCat Records

Private Meaning First

Formed in 2015, The Psychotic Monks may be the most exciting band coming out of France in recent years. They released their debut album in Silence Slowly & Madly Shines in 2017 and have gained a reputation for exhilarating live performances.

After a three-year hiatus, The Psychotic Monks have released a single “Closure”, from their upcoming album Private Meaning First (release date November 27, 2020 via FatCat Records). “Closure” is very sludgy and atonal wall of sound with hints of punk rock.

Rock At Night gave Private Meaning First a listen and it is very interesting, cerebral music. It will definitely appeal to those who like Claypool Lennon Delirium or the sound of dark, dissonant, psych rock music.  Think King Crimson on crack or even The Smiths amped up.

One of my favorite songs “Pale Dream” begins with a drone, dark bells, and dreamy piano and vocals. It is dark and mysterious, full of dissonant city sounds, like The Smiths “How Soon is Now?” Similarly, the songs “Isolation”, “A Coherent Appearance”,  and “Emotional Disease” carry a similar mood, but with a post-punk, more sludgy or sadcore tone, occasionally building into  anger and aggression.

“A Minor Division” sounds very post-punk with a slow drum beat and swirling psych rock guitars—think Primus or Ghost of the Sabre Tooth Tiger. The song, however, goes on for 8 minutes and fades into static. “Confusions” has a cool, danceable beat, and builds into a full, post-punk dark mix of dissonance.  Sounding very industrial, “A Self Claimed Regress” and “Every Sight” with clanky noise and harmonized vocals, build into a dark, psych rock choral nightmare.

Listening to the album when you are in a dark, cerebral mood or are tired of the run-of-the-mill white bread music. It is a dark fantasy of noise and melody intertwined with the artistry of prog rock and the darkness of doom metal. Also, check out The Psychotic Monks’ performance on KEXP via YouTube. Each musician in the band take turn singing and switch instruments throughout, showing how diverse and talented the band really is.

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Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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