ABOUT PALE MONSTERS (Long Version)
New wave-art rockers Pale Monsters serve as the creative outlet for Chris Mulvey, a mainstay of Boston music. As a student of music and literature, Mulvey was focused on creativity at a young age. After performing at Boston’s iconic Middle East Downstairs at age 18, Mulvey was hooked.
"I love the connection when you perform to a room full of people, but the songwriting is what's kept me in this for the long haul," says Mulvey. "I love the creative process."
Through three albums over much of the past decade, Mulvey led Muy Cansado. When starting Pale Monsters, he enlisted longtime friends and Boston music veterans, Kevin McGrath (Diamond Mines), Mike Ward (Let's Wait) and Travis Richter (Kingsley Flood, The Motion Sick), each bringing their own unique perspective and experience to the project.
“I wanted to create something new," says Mulvey. "That’s how this got started...It seemed like the most creative thing I could do was just to be different...I couldn’t find new sounds by approaching things the same way." Link
Led by Mulvey’s songwriting and "impassioned howl" (Vanyaland), the band’s off-kilter, modernized take to guitar and synth driven rock has garnered comparisons to Elvis Presley, David Bowie, the Talking Heads and Pere Ubu. The quartet forges its pop-rock influences into its own unique sound. The band’s songs are strewn with musical, lyrical and literary allusions from a wide variety of sources.
Pale Monsters’ 2016 5-song debut EP Take What You Can Take was "a set of loud, sad indie rock gems" (Boston Herald) highlighted by “fresh and vital” (Worcester Telegram) single, "Everybody (Take What You Can Take)." The EP put the band on the map in Boston and set the stage for more to come.
The creative process for Take What You Can Take helped Pale Monsters figure out who they are as a band and how they fit together.
"When we formed the band, our goal was to create music," says Mulvey "...this band is a creative project." Link
In late 2017, Pale Monsters released the "anthemic new single" (Vanyaland) "All This Time We Wait" through their website, earning a spot as one of the best of Boston singles of 2017 by influential Boston music site, Vanyaland.
"Highlighted by Mike Ward’s ebullient layers of synth squeals, Mulvey’s chiming guitar and a driving rhythm section (drummer Travis Richter and bassist Kevin McGrath), [the] new single “All This Time We Wait” is a celebration. Had this festival-ready banger come out two or three months earlier it would have made everyone’s summer mixtape.” (Vanyaland)
The single was the first glimpse into the band's first full length album, released in March 2018, and titled, Are You Feeling Alive?
“These new songs capture the sound I have been chasing for a long time," says Mulvey. "This album represents a new place for the band, but also for me personally.”
Other notable tracks, include "Pale Monsters" (yes, there is a song with the band name) and "Gone."
The track “Pale Monsters” is dominated by dueling lead guitars and synthesizers over driving rhythms, feeling like it could have been plucked from David Bowie’s Berlin era. The song (and band name) allude to Moby Dick, referencing how we impose our fears onto others and providing a biting analogy to present-day America.
Album track “Gone” is a slow, moving meditation on family, life and death, featuring beautiful synthesizer arrangements and crooning vocals. It feels like a song you expected performed at the Roadhouse in David Lynch’s recently revived Twin Peaks.
The album has been described as "some of the best indie rock released in recent memory" (No Depression) and "one of 2018’s most effective rock records" (Cashbox Magazine Canada). See more at the Press Highlights tab.
If you're in the press, please contact Whiplash PR (firstname.lastname@example.org / 617-445-4383)
for a link to the band's Electronic Press Kit. Please put "Pale Monsters Press Inquiry" in the subject header.
Chris Mulvey - sings, plays guitar, writes chords and melodies
Kevin McGrath - plays bass, sings, in-band producer
Mike Ward - plays synthesizer, plays guitar, sound wizard in residency
Travis Richter - plays drums, plays percussions, motivates band action through threats