Monophonic, by definition, means consisting of one sound, yet Monophonics, a six-piece band from San Francisco, are anything but monophonic. They call their style of music “Psychedelic Soul.” That’s exactly how to describe their newest album, Sound of Sinning, which draws from the rich history of the Bay Area’s music scene and mixes it with the sounds of Motown and southern soul.
Listening to Sound of Sinning, you will think it was recorded 45 years ago. The album starts off with a nod to the psychedelic garage rock of the ’60s. “Lying Eyes” mixes smooth harmonies, reminiscent of The Byrds, with a raspy belting chorus. The remainder of the album is very much that “Psychedelic Soul” sound, bringing together psychedelic sounds with R&B, soul, and funk in a perfect union. The title track sounds as though Aretha Franklin was performing with The Zombies as her backup band while “Hanging On” brings back memories of The Supremes. The album closes out with the mostly instrumental “Everyone’s Got…,” layering vocal harmonies over a catchy rhythm and psychedelic melodies similar to The Beatles’ “Revolution 9.” Lyrically, this album speaks of heartbreak, broken promises, and lies – the sound of sinning.
Monophonics are currently on tour, finishing up a run through the northeast before they head south and then west to California, followed by a handful of shows in western Europe. They will play Buffalo’s Iron Works with Wild Adriatic on Thursday, April 16 and then they head east to Rochester on April 17, to play The Club at Water Street.
Al Bell, record producer and co-owner of the legendary Stax Records, calls them “One of the best live soul bands I have ever seen!” Sound of Sinning can be purchased through their Artist Stores page. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Key Tracks: Lying Eyes, Sound of Sinning, Find My Way Back Home