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Monster Head Room

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Album Review

By most reasonable standards, Ganglians' full-length debut, Monster Head Room, would qualify as lo-fi. Compared to their self-titled EP released just a few months earlier, though, Monster Head Room is a veritable pocket symphony. The Sacramento quartet's falsetto harmonies are no longer obscured by distortion, merely blurred, and float between semi-funky moments that recall the post- SMiLE Beach Boys. Like a more sprawl-conscious Olivia Tremor Control, Ganglians use delighted Brian Wilson tricks — in both arrangement and fey/naïve demeanor — to stake their claim firmly in a lineage of home-recording psychedelic popsters. They repeat the EP's two best songs, "Radically Inept Candy Girl" and "The Void," in new recordings. The former's discombobulated arrangement receives a radical unmuddling, the toy piano and odd breaks coming to the fore. "The Void" benefits from a slower tempo and some occasionally forced atmospherics, such as a choir of shouting voices. Throughout, Monster Head Room strives for anthemic moments. On "To June," the band drops some willfully naïve moon/June/spoon rhymes, but the melody is winning enough that it doesn't matter. That's not always the case, and sometimes, like on "100 Years," the riffage might actually be better served by lower fidelity.


Formed: Sacramento, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Falling somewhere between the noise-pop of bands like Wavves and Woods and the blissed-out psychedelia of the Beach Boys, Sacramento, CA’s Ganglians features Ryan Grubbs, Kyle Hoover, Alex Sowles, and Adrian Comenzind. Grubbs met Sowles when he moved from Portland, OR to Sacramento, and met Comenzind, who introduced him to Hoover. They began trading tracks they had recorded at home, and when Grubbs was asked to play a show, Hoover, Comenzind, and Sowles became his backing band. The band’s name came...
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Monster Head Room, Ganglians
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