Enjoy synthy alternative with The Chain Gang of 1974’s “Honey Moon Drips” (review)

The Chain Gang of 1974, 2020

Over the years, a genre I’ve taken a fancy to is Indietronica. This synth-driven brand of alternative creates a soundscape that is transcendent. When I came across Kamtin Mohager’s project The Chain Gang of 1974, I knew I had to hear more from the artist. Today, I’m checking out his new album Honey Moon Drips, set to release tomorrow.

After the title track eases the listener in with a euphoric backdrop, “Do You Mind” displays fervent evidence that Kamtin’s style can be likened to a pleasant dream. With such an easygoing, relaxing demeanor, the layers upon layers of production stand with the genre’s greats, like Chvrches and Purity Ring.

With melancholic lyrics, “Giving it Up” is prime for listeners who have underwent the struggle of physical appearance, faith, and more. “YDLMA” stands for the ever-wary “you don’t love me anymore” that no partner ever wants to feel, and details the trouble with expectations, give-and-take, and more in this sad track.

Another bold lyrical journey, “The Hurt is Good” embraces the yin-yang of needing to go through hard times to get to the good ones. The uncharacteristic synth solo in the outro carries the remainder of the piece well. “Fervor” stands as a nostalgic interlude into “Times that we Had,” a more positive song that reminisces on the highlights of a relationship. While the song is instrumentally-sound, the song title’s words are delivered a few too many times for my liking.

“I Think we Need to Sleep” has subtle guitar and more wave-y cues to paint a picture of a rough night’s happenings. “Philosophy of Love” is more of the same Chain Gang of 1979 goodness, while “Bends” features queer-pop duo TWINKIDS to bring a different dynamic to the soothing synth background.

“Champagne Saturday” lets the guitar do the talking in the bridge in this piece, before straight piano introduces “4AM Still Lonely.” This lovesick track is made for hopeless romantics yearning for what they deserve to have. Honey Moon Drips closes out with the best song on the record, “Such a Shame.” With pounding bass, a somber delivery, and a chorus for the ages, this is the takeaway that makes the album memorable.

Honey Moon Drips is quite the entry point for me. Front to back, the vibe is excellent, even if it shines more brightly in some songs than others. The ones to watch out for are “The Hurt is Good,” “Giving it Up,” and “Such a Shame.” It would be surreal to see Kamtin tour with the likes of Day Wave and Hazel English. Check out Honey Moon Drips when it releases May 29th!

A review copy was provided courtesy of Chain Gang of 1974.