After several years of teasing, I Monster last year finally released the first album from People Soup, I Monster Presents People Soup. It’s difficult to know what to expect – as producers they tend to stamp less of their truly bonkers concepts on the sound, but it always seems to be interesting.
The first track is the lively Come Out Biting, which has a lot of the familiar production of I Monster with a lot of almost chanty vocals. It’s not exactly meaningful, but it’s a great, catchy opener.
Dumb Head has some kind of retro style going on (it sounds a bit like Mickey, and offhand I can’t think what genre you would call that) and while it does sound a little bit unfinished still, it’s another catchy song. Then comes Beat the Drum, which is pleasant but not entirely memorable.
It’s with Flavours that the first real “taste” (sorry!) of People Soup‘s potential arrives. It’s got a slightly 70s style to it, but also yet another catchy chorus and some typically enormous I Monster production too. Definitely the best track so far.
A Bullet Through the Heart sounds even more like I Monster – it could even have fitted nicely on their last album A Dense Swarm of Ancient Stars (2009), but then Black Cat Bamboozle is a bit of a disappointment unfortunately – there’s plenty to it, but somehow it doesn’t quite seem to fit together.
Knock the Door Down follows, picking things up again with another lively chanted chorus. But then comes the best track on the whole album, the brilliant Devils on Horseback – it’s catchy, inventive, and totally brilliant.
Despite the hilarious occasional cry of “carrot and coriander,” The Inevitable Plastic Soup Explosion is a bit of an oddity – pleasant enough, but it’s slightly difficult to understand what it’s doing here. But then it’s the end already – the album closes with the catchy Damn Your Hide, which I’d love to describe as a “softer swing number,” if only the word “number” didn’t make me sound so stupid. Either way, it’s a great closing track.
Short and sweet it may be, but I Monster Presents People Soup is a worthwhile side-step for I Monster, who should hopefully be pretty close to their fourth studio album by now. They’re always fun, they’re always interesting, and they’re always absolutely brilliant, and despite the occasional low point, this is no exception.
You can find I Monster Presents People Soup in a download format of your choice or as a limited edition pink cassette at Bandcamp.