Wednesday 5 September 2018

Review: May May Graves – 'Monsters'

Award winning drag performer, burlesque artist, and head queen at the Dallas School of Burlesque unleashes her debut musical outing in the form of 'Monsters', a blend of high-fashion, cyberpunk and 80s slasher menace this EP is like an apocalyptic party. Billed as the "genderfuck of your nightmares", May May quit her job as a Church of Christ preacher in 2011 to be in a punk band... It all goes downhill from there.

'Monsters' is a dance-floor ready blend of throbbing bass, pounding dance beats and filthy modular synths framing seductive and sinister vocals. Evoking UV-drenched party monsters, neon-clad villains and the decadence of a 21st century Weimar Berlin the EP is a compelling listen.

The opening tracks 'Die Like It's The 80s' and 'Monsters' hit hard and fast with their up-tempo and sing-a-long friendly construction that won't fail to get bodies moving on the dance floor. 'Ghost' then pulls things back into a slower, darker and disorientating direction that maintains it's dance appeal but still gets really interesting. 'My Villain' goes more up-tempo again but this time invoking some very nice Pet Shop Boys style melodies that is carried on through to the final track 'Mermaids'.

The album is rounded-off with some very nice remix contributions from Surgyn, Aberrant Behaviour, Adventu Impar, and Isserley who all do a great job of making the tracks their own. But hidden between them is 'Cantaloupe', another solid dance number that feels a little more straight-forward in it's construction but nonetheless sounds great.

The production has a nice gritty cyberpunk edge to it, and the modular synths really emphasise this. With this being a dance record primarily it's heavy on the beats and bass, but the melodies and vocals always shine through in the mix giving it plenty of sing-a-long potential.

This is a strong fist-outing that hints a a few different directions a full-length release could go in. Hopefully there will be more from May May Graves in the near future.

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