Joakim Monsters & Silly Songs

The title of this album appears to promise a listening experience for the light of heart but make no mistake, Joakim’s second full-length is an earnest achievement of musical exploration. The Monsters in this album are the 30-second snippets of random ambient noise, walls of static and other samples, but the rest of the songs are no wave and experimental, treading across numerous genres of electronic music, as well as rock and modern classical. "Sleep in Hollow Tree” begins with an industrial-electro bass line, a live drum kit, driving, motorik guitar rhythms, spacey synths and ominous vocals in the post-punk vibe of Cabaret Voltaire. "I Wish You Were Gone” features a raw garage band sound with Casio synth melodies and faint vocodered lyrics; it’s a great, caustic dance punk number. "Rocket Pearl” chugs along with heavy, chunky guitars and has a similar catchy melody reminiscent of Controller.Controller’s "History.” "Love Me 2” starts out on a minimal note with just a 303 and kick drum, but with growing reverb on the synths, full use of the drum kit and rising, thrashing guitar riffs, this track turns into a cross between a raw dance floor hit and something you might crowd surf or bang your head to. Finally, "Tanabata” completes this diverse and well-balanced album, and is a modern classical whirlwind of melodious chimes, piano, bells, and strings. If Hot Chip were your thing in 2006, check out Joakim’s Monsters for 2007; it’s perfect pop that is tech-ed out but also rocks out. (Versatile)