MONOWHALES Don't Waste a Single Moment on 'Daytona Bleach'
Published Mar 03, 2021Toronto-based indie rockers MONOWHALES have returned with their long-anticipated follow-up to 2017's Control Freak EP. Daytona Bleach is a punchy 7-song album featuring successful singles "All or Nothing" and "RWLYD (Really Wanna Let You Down)," the latter of which broke the radio record for highest charting song by an unsigned band on the Mediabase Canada Alternative Rock Chart. The band have remained incredibly busy between these two releases, including touring with Canadian icons Sloan and Marianas Trench, having their songs featured on television shows such as Spinning Out and Northern Rescue, and winning the 2019 Jim Beam INDIE Award for Best Alternative Artist/Group of the Year.
Daytona Bleach perfectly captures the charisma and energy that have contributed to the band's widespread commercial and popular success within Canada. From start to finish, the album is relentlessly upbeat, maintaining an energy level that never tips over into excess. It is not difficult to see how the band gained their reputation for lively, vibrant, vivacious live performances. Producer Ryan Worsley (Dear Rouge, Brave Shores) lends crisp production to the band's thunderously poppy, synth-laced songs, embedding Sally Shaar's punky voice at the centre of swirling instrumentals.
Each song is well-crafted and catchy, a testament to the band's productive chemistry with one another. The music and lyrics attest to a feeling of restlessness, of a desire to shout in the face of uncertainty and stillness. In "I Don't Think About You," Shaar continually repeats the title over a frantic instrumental, unapologetically bragging that "I don't think about you but I wanna know / How it feels to hear me on the radio." She sounds confident and beguiling on danceable queer anthem "He Said/She Said (I Wait)," finding excitement in the anticipatory unknown.
MONOWHALES have never seemed interested in needless complexity or obfuscation in their music and lyrics (as Shaar sings in "Out with the Old," "Love equals sex / Sex makes you famous"), and this straightforwardness is part of their charm and appeal. Throughout Daytona Bleach, it is clear that MONOWHALES know exactly what they want to say and how they want to say it, not wasting a single moment of the album on anything other than high-energy expressions of desire, frustration, exuberance and assertiveness. (Independent)