Contrary to the bright, flowery album cover, Monster Treasure‘s latest album, “II”, is about as punked-out as they come. The grungy, shoegazey punk is mesmerizing and full of fuzz-soaked riffs, and as the band’s bio says, if you can picture Blondie covering Nirvana in the early ’80s, “you might be halfway there.”
The album is nothing if not heavy, but Briana Granados and Rachel Orimo’s dreamy, spacey vocals stand in stark contrast to heavy-handed percussion and gritty guitar. With these hazy vocals, “Buttercream” is indeed smooth and sweet despite a gravelly surface. Everything feels like a heavy red or a deep blue color, and although vocals have a tendency to get lost in the instruments, the cathartic sound is worth it.
Break-up tracks permeate the album – after all, where else can you find this level of intensity but in love? Bold, surprisingly catchy lyrics in “No Hope” (“I don’t like being f*cked with/I hope that you get herpes”) stand out along with “Leave,” a song about blaming yourself for someone else’s terrible treatment.
The sound only begins to shift towards the end of the album, where “The Fall” is chaotic and anxiety-inducing but juxtaposed with the brief, listless “So What.” The album closes with an eerie hidden track near the end of the six-minute “Come Over,” a lightly ethereal song that lacks the intensity of the rest of “II”.
Monster Treasure’s “II” leaves you wrung-out and exhausted in the best way possible. It feels like the lights have just gone up at the end of a show and everyone is just a little dazed, but you’re still full of adrenaline. If that sounds like your type of album, check out Monster Treasure’s Bandcamp, because the album comes out tomorrow, October 6.