Brooklyn-based indie rock trio Monograms has the sonic solution to cure those pesky negative thoughts that plague us all from time to time. Their newest video, “Downer”, is awash in a neon rainbow palette with the pulsing visual energy of Silversun Pickups’ “Panic Switch”. The music here is reminiscent of early Bloc Party: from the first notes, your pulse quickens. You feel a connection. Their riffs are addictive, and this song sinks its hooks into you immediately.
Cut to images of money going up in flames. Then black and white imagery contrasts the interwoven vivid hues as lead vocalist Ian Jacobs asks on the chorus, “Why do you wanna bring me down?” Then the messages begin:
Don’t count on it.
These phrases written on sticky notes appear throughout the video. Viewed from the narrator’s perspective, you wonder about the who and why of their origin. The notes are the scribbled equivalent of a Magic 8 Ball that only predicts doom and gloom. But herein lies the sly charm of the message: we are our own worst critics.
Everyone has moments when our doubt-driven internal monologue tries to sabotage our actions. That’s the essence of “Downer”: the lyrics aren’t directed at another person – a friend or lover – whose negativity is a downer. These are warnings to be heeded, sage wisdom wrapped in pure rock & roll swagger: don’t let anyone or anything bring you down. “Downer” is a full-throttle, three-minute anthem for those times when you need a shot of audio adrenaline.
You can find “Downer” on their EP of the same name that released in February. This follow-up to their 2014 debut EP is available at their Bandcamp page. Fans near New York City can catch Monograms on May 20 when they play The Studio at Webster Hall with Dreamers and The Young Wild.
Monograms are: Ian Jacobs (vocals, guitar), Michael Nesci (bass), and Josh Harris (drums).
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