IF 05 Diagonals & Michael Berryhill
CD + BOOK set
IF05 is not what it seems. On the surface, it’s a collection of dance songs with catchy guitar riffs paired with a sweet comic book about a kid in a diner. But take a closer look, and the whole thing gets a little more unnerving.
Diagonals’ debut album, Valley of the Cyclops, offers “an infectious cross between classic garage guitar jangle and Eighties underground dance beats” that sound happy and carefree. But the sordid tales (among them the realities of our aging bodies, the disappointment of things to come, and the loneliness that is sex for money) paint a decidedly different picture. Told with humor, each song explores the underbelly of human nature, all the while asking you to forget your cares and dance your fucking face off.
Like many Monofonus projects, IF05 is a family affair – the album is paired with a comic book by artist and ex-Diagonals guitar player, Michael Berryhill whose painting, R2-DTrees, graces the cover of Valley of the Cyclops. Berryhill’s short comic “I Could Be Happy” is a brief but bizarre glimpse into the everyday: a diner-booth moment in which “master and puppet” take on a whole new meaning. And while this book reads as figurative narrative rooted in the traditions of Western folk with Crumb-esque historical references, similar to the album it accompanies, Berryhill’s surreal painting style lends the story a darker edge.