The gasp of a disbelieving woman begins a wondrous voyage through There Be Monsters, Rain Dog’s second full-length venture. As a pretty lengthy project, There Be Monsters is altogether an expedition that tinkers on the verge of consciousness. “What should I see?” another voice calls out in My Hands Make Shapes, the first track of sixteen. Post-step sounds echo and commence the journey from an imaginary dark space. The album in its very first moments of life draws parallels to standing on the edge of an unknown mental obscureness and taking the first steps to go inside.
There Be Monsters has been crafted to play out in its entirety, telling a story filled with personal experience. The second track, Loneliness Is Not A Function Of Solitude plays key to the intimate concepts behind the album. It’s textured, vigorous synth combines with soft percussion and punctuated beats. The title is a memorable quote from Infinite Jest by David Foster-Wallace; a dystopic novel that blurs lines with the idea that the remedy for loneliness is in fact seclusion, or better put, solitude.
There’s an ever-present appreciation for the relationship between words and music in There Be Monsters. A poetic intermission with a linger sentiment draws into Choreoathetoid. Choreoathetoid is a struggle between light and dark, incorporating organic and electronic elements as well as well-fitted vocals. Who Do You Love? springs from garage roots, sliding deep into thoughtful and unearthly down-tempo ambience in the later track, Eyes On The Aether.
Hierlera strips away broken beats and synth patterns to a raw and haunting instrumental, before launching into the final part of the album’s expedition. Intensity creeps in throughout the last few tracks. The final chapter kicks off with a 2-step pace and an enduring amount of purring bass from the aptly named Tahiti (Take Me To Infinity), culminating with In Your Arms, a superlunary refix of Laurie Anderson’s Superman.
Throughout integrally downbeat and illusory, There Be Monsters is a clever and precious piece. Released as a limited, marbled vinyl, it’s befalls as a sensory gem. Featuring collaborations with Finn Ryder and Monsoonsiren, it’s a celestial body that embraces curiosity and the darker parts of our mind.