Warning: this album review contains a lot of kvetching and self-serving cross posting. Just sayin’.
After listening to fifteen seconds of the opening track to the new Monotonix album Not Yet (Drag City), I already knew what I wanted to write:
Why am I not on tour with this band?
I could end the review with just that. But our Creative Director told me that I’d look lame for doing that. So I’ll keep going.
Given my musical interests, you’d think that I’d be the horse and pony show opener on Monotonix USA tour. Not so much.
It’s not just the fact that they are from Tel Aviv. It’s not just the fact that they sound like MC5, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Black Sabbath, Iggy Pop or every other cool band that I idol worship. And it’s not just the fact that they have the same loud-fast-furious recording style as, ahem, this band I’m in. No…the real reason I want to be on tour with Monotonix is the fact that they have the greatest live show of any band I’ve ever seen. And I hate their guts for it.
People don’t go to live shows anymore. We’re in a Guitar Hero, Autotune the News, did-you-see-the-last-episode-of-Glee culture of eating potato chips and never leaving the house. Many, many bands that I know are giving up touring all together. Why play a show in front of thirty people when you can release a video on YouTube, link it to iTunes, and have two hundred people download the song? But not Monotonix. Their recent show at 529 in Atlanta sold out in an instant: skinny hipsters packed Sonic Youth t-shirt to Sonic Youth t-shirt against each other, as Monotonix cut through them like a hot knife through cold butter.
Not Yet really showcases that live feel. While Where Were You When It Happened? had its cool moments, the weirdly Southern Fried vibe to it (probably due to its recording in New Orleans) took away from the face-against-the-wall-dirt-bag energy that Not Yet proudly brandishes. I can smell Israeli sweat in this album. And it smells pretty tasty.
So while I’m not expecting to get a phone call from the management of Monotonix soon begging me to open their next tour, I can at least run around in my underpants Risky Business-style, listening to this record, and pretending that I am there.
Not Yet will be released January 25th on Drag City. Above image courtesy of Drag City.