- 05 Sep 19
Bell X1 guitarist gets his groove on with side project.
David Geraghty has found the lord. This is not so much a religious as a spiritual and musical conversion, however, as the latest album sees the Bell X1 guitarist worshipping at the altar of funk. The brooding folk which characterised Geraghty’s two solo albums under his own name, and the gorgeous Join Me In The Pines debut from 2014, Inherit, alike, has disappeared completely. It’s been replaced by a sassy, slinky and downright danceable sound, which could have been hotwired directly from Paisley Park.
While tracks like the mighty ‘Flame’ from his day-job, as well as Bell X1’s most recent record, Arms, have hinted at this side of the guitarist, there’s been nothing to fully prepare the listener for the hip-shaking journey ahead. Throughout Monomania, there are flawless falsettos, shimmering synths and rhythms so infectious they could carry their own health warning. ‘Jean Bean’ wouldn’t feel out of place on a mid-period Prince album, complete with a beat that makes even a middle-aged music journalist (your man over there!) temporarily believe he is capable of shaking his booty without mortifying himself.
Then there’s the meaty bass of ‘She Steps Into The Light’, which would make Nile Rodgers smile; the super-smart soul-pop of ‘Small Change’ (no relation to the Tom Waits song of the same name); and the descending minor chord synth odyssey that forms the stunning outro to ‘Two To Fall In Love’. ‘Bad Blood’ is ridiculously catchy, with a chorus that attaches itself to the inside of your cranium like a limpet, while the digital bleeps and squelches of the closing ‘Friends’ have echoes of Bowie’s Berlin sojourn.
It’s seriously impressive. The only worry is how Geraghty can weave the dual strands of his back catalogue into a live show. Given the ease with which he has morphed from acoustic troubadour to funky band leader, however, it’d be mad to bet against him.