The Myonics are a band from San Francisco California. They have been around for many years with many different incarnations. Their most recent release Pagans is their first foray into vinyl. This record zig-zags back and forth between noisy psychotic freak outs interlaced with very catchy and pleasant but sometimes uncomfortably poignant hooks. The end result is an album with a lot of dissident and chaotic sounds packed tightly into ten surprisingly tight and well structured compositions.
The most commonly used term to describe this flavor of music would be Psychedelic Noise-Pop. That description may be accurate but it is most definitely meaningless. This album transcends categorization or genre. Categorizing music by genres is meaningless in the first place. Categories are all just words. Good music usually goes beyond words. That’s why it’s music.
The record starts innocently enough with a pleasant greeting entitled “Hello”, however even in the opening track you can already hear the bi-polar tension building between the Myonics psychotic nature and pop sensibility. The second track “Why Not Now” sounds a little more knocked out and loaded. The song starts out with a dreamy almost tropical cool island esthetic. The singer whispers into the microphone as if he is sharing some sort of intimate secret. “I Don’t Give a Fuck About You” is a sarcastically sweet pop tune with a little bit of a punk edge and an noticeable influence from Lou Reed. It’s my personal favorite track, but I’m not sure others would necessarily agree with me. The next track “Over Oakland” utilizes a lot of ambient synthesizer to create a slow and surreal sounding song. The first side ends with “Trees, Fruit Bushes and Birds” which features a traditional call and response technique but used in a very modern context.
The B-Side opens with “Dressed Up in Drag” an upbeat number about learning to evolve beyond society’s narrowly defined concepts of sexuality and gender. This song challenges notions of gender the same way The Myonics music challenges notions of genre. “Never Another” sounds like a country Ballad on a bad acid trip. The Existentially flavored “A Song” starts with a haunting vocal intro and distant, dissident acoustic guitar. The minimalist intro dissolves into a lush but melancholy composition thickly layered with vocal harmonies, trumpet, and synthesizer. “ProfR” is immediately catchy, but the psycho noise breakdown halfway through the track makes it a little too challenging to be a strait-forward pop tune. This song has a very abrupt and jarring ending. It doesn’t slow down, fade out, or have an outro. The album ends with “There’s Nobody There”. It is cool, smooth, and slow moving with sparse instrumentation to match it’s lonely mood. The lyrics consist entirely of the titular phrase “there’s nobody there” repeated over and over for two and a half minutes.
Genre/ Tags: Psychedelic, Noise Pop
2.) Why Not Now
3.) I Don’t Give A Fuck About You
4.) Over Oakland
5.) Trees, Fruit Bushes and Birds
6.) Dressed Up In Drag
7.) Never Another
8.) A Song
10.) There’s Nobody There
Buy Pagans from the Myonics Bandcamp page. You can stream the record, buy a digital copy, or Buy the 12″ LP.