Release Date: Apr 1, 2016
Record label: Fat Possum
Genre(s): Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Experimental Rock
A nervy, sweat-inducing set of manic, hyper-literate electro-pop emissions that are as gloriously melodic as they are relentlessly atonal, the full-length debut from John Congleton and the Nighty Nite is about as far from easy listening as you can get. Congleton, who fronted twitchy post-punk rockers the Paper Chase and has produced albums for the likes of St. Vincent, Mountain Goats, and Strand of Oaks, attempts to dig deep into the human condition on the aptly named Until the Horror Goes.
Whenever a musician declares that their next album is going to explore something as heady as “the human condition” or “post-modern life,” there’s every reason to groan. Those are huge topics, so much that the best tactic would be to address them from the stance of the everyman. But so few artists do that, instead opting to elevate themselves to the position of demigod, an indie rock super-being who’s somehow tapped in to a message that we mere mortals could never figure out on our own.
The man behind the live-wire sexiness of St. Vincent's sound, and a host of others, belts out his solo debut, Until the Horror Goes. Both vocally and conceptually, John Congleton hurls forth a paranoid alter ego from the subconscious that sounds like the nerdier cousin of Rivers Cuomo after getting his hands on some bad designer drug. Self-awareness and not taking it all too seriously saves this effort from absurdism, and with a few allowances made, the wonkily macabre production can bang your funny bone in places, while Congleton's unbridled candor can be refreshingly amusing.