Published Nov 08, 2014Halifax jangle junkies Monomyth check off so many indie rock fetish boxes that they almost seem like a result of a focus group: earnestly ironic normcore fashion; Beach Boys Wilson brothers harmonies; Byrds-filtered-through-R.E.M. guitar arpeggios; all reverb everything; a whiff of Pavement's cheeky emotional distance. They also perform with a taste for slight chaos and noise, which at times adds power but that occasionally flirts with an amateurness that, frankly, belies how good their material is.
At their best, Monomyth can be downright transcendent. The thundering "Pac Ambition" was one of the night's heftier songs, but it was upbeat gems like "Candleholder" and "(Theme from) Monomyth" from this year's full-length debut Saturnalia Regalia! that perked up the late-night crowd. The band's vocalists, Seamus Dalton, Joshua Salter, traded songs through the set, but always sounded best as a unit, even if not all their harmonies hit note-perfect.
With an eager front-of-stage crowd clearly familiar with the band's material, Monomyth entertained off-the-floor requests from its short-but-solid back catalogue. These deeper cuts proved highlights: 2013's "Cigarette" was a speedy, poppy garage rock delight and set-closing "Feeling" (from the band's 2012 self-titled EP) sounded massive, a swirling cascade of wistful pop bliss.