Album Review: The Monochrome Set – Allhallowtide

The Monochrome Set left behind their punk trappings years ago; these days Bid employs a vast sonic palette to craft fetching, sophisticated music that draws from English Music hall as much as anything else. In that regard he deserves to be though of a peer with singular, idiosyncratic artists like Elvis Costello. His pop songwriting and arrangement values give his songs a sweeping, cinematic character that’s breathtakingly exciting.

It may not be at all clear to the listener what a song such as “Ballad of the Flaming Man” is going on about, but it’s thrilling nonetheless. There’s a classic country vibe underpinning “My Deep Shoreline,” one that subtly recalls Nick Lowe. And Martin Denny-style exotica gently informs “Moon Garden.” The distinctive combo organ that runs through “Really in the Wrong Town” places one foot in sixties garage, the other in the modern indie rock world. “Box of Sorrows” is melancholy, waltzing chamber pop with spooky, wordless vocals. Allhallowtide is musically unified and wildly eclectic all at once.

Allhallowtide is the latest creative bullseye-hit in a long string of must-have records from The Monochrome Set.