23 Sep 2021
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Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons - Album Review: Everything Is As It Shouldn't Be

21 Jun 2021 // A review by Bethany Mountford
Everything Is As It Shouldn’t Be is the latest release from Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons, and boy it is a wild ride. The album takes self-proclaimed inspiration from “Bob-Dylan, Talking Heads, Claude Debussy, Velvet Underground and Radiohead,” so I went in with eclectic expectations. On first listening the album seemed to jump all over the place from track to track, sad ballads followed by go-get-em anger tracks followed by cheerful bouncy songs. I couldn’t figure it out. On second listening the picture began to reveal itself a little more and the tracks gelled into a much more cohesive story

The album begins a little snarky, sarcastic, cynical. Am I Asleep poses a jarred strumming all the way through with a repetitive lyrical formula that builds up to passionate demands. On this one I wrote ‘not angry but had enough’ and come to think of it, it could be compared to The Who in its theatricality and moody-mod nature.

Years Not Forever is suddenly cheerful and hopeful with very come-with-me-and-take-a-chance vibes. It’s bouncy, fun, there’s a cute little muted guitar solo, what more could you want?

Track 3 What’s In Your Pocket is slow and epic, like walking on the moon. This one seems to have a very Pink Floyd-y sound, except the vocals come in at 40 seconds rather than 8 minutes. After 4 minutes it fades out and is followed by the short interlude Good for Nothing New.

Now, I'm not sure what happened at this point in the story but Good Old Fashioned Love for Violence has much more of an edge, a bit cowboy-y? Babyem then is a gentle lullaby type track that picks up a little with the rhythm section mid-way through the song.

Somebody On Your Mind continues to raise the mood with an unrelentingly upbeat first half. If this album were a break up, it just got determined to find somebody new. The egg shaker in the chorus – always a nice touch. The second part of this song falls into a kind of stranger, swinging breakdown, and then we are thrown into another mood entirely with Shut up for a Minute. A dramatic ballad with a pandemic theme to close the album.

Track 9, Electrocution, gets up and takes action. It’s headed out of town. This is where the consecutive story seems to become apparent, it just moved from sadness to anger.

The fade out leads nicely into Somebody's Fool, which keeps the mood of the album down for a couple of minutes. It’s a very slow, sad, vocal driven lament with minute string instrument backing. It talks of winning and losing but appears as though the narrator is currently looking at life from the losing perspective.

The album ends with The King – a calm, slow-starting track with a muted guitar tone that makes it sound like it’s being played by someone down the road. The song builds up to a bit of an explosion, with the repetitive cry “I don’t know why I should be the king of every hour” which diminishes eventually to just “the king” and then fades as it trails out. And that concludes it. I think it will take another few listens to wrap my head around the complexity of the overall storyline and themes that inspired this album – and I would recommend the same to anyone interested.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons

Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons released their second record in June 2021 with an NZ tour to coincide. The band were due to play a European and US tour in 2020, however, the world seemed to have other ideas.

London born, New Zealand based, indie/alternative song writer Armstrong, claims, since the last record a lot has happened ‘new love, old love, a baby, betrayal, severed fingers, forgiveness and revenge’

The new album is a commentary on living in an anti-culture bubble, that is separate but obsessed with a world that doesn’t exist and an unknown future where technology has killed a big part of human existence.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Daniel Armstrong & The Monsoons

Releases

Everything Is As It Shouldn't Be
Year: 2021
Type: Album

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