Monotonix CD EP review by Luc Rodgers

Music Reviews
Monotonix CD EP review by Luc Rodgers
Mar 31, 2008, 02:42



The twenty bars of one chord, one note, and one drummer hopefully can prepare the bystander for what Israel's Monotonix have in store for them inside this little gem of an EP. The bloody, diseased raw meat smelling up each track is special, full of life, and, though tied to a locked-in tempo, utter chaos. Anything within reach becomes both an object of lust and a potential victim of being set aflame with the blaring, swinging anthems from even the smallest speakers. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ari Shalev (vocals), Yontan Gat (guitar), and Ran Shimoni (drums), your drunken Friday night fight music and the reason you are bailed out of jail on Monday just in time to go to work.

After the previously mentioned intro, the nasty and danceable “Lowest Dive” is the perfect invitation to the band. Even after bringing the noise down to a singable level it is still a complete abandon pushing the song forward. The melody of the chorus, in which we find out that the “…ice mountain/could be the lowest dive,” is so catchy that we have to agree with whatever it may mean. Not only agree but also show everyone else within sight with a fringe-sleeved fist shot straight into the air.

“Summers and Autumns” follows with a Sabbath riff and a doubled vocal that meets one on the playground right after school for a good beating. Where these Monotonix differ from other garage rock revivalist groups is heard perfectly in the flourishes that decorate the endings of each verse. Stop/starts and matched triplets show everyone that not only are they snotty, they also have the talent and practice to play this while also doing any number of things simultaneously (check out their live show for proof of this). By the end of this song, you know that this is something definitely special. And sexy.

The title track is as lubricative as it sounds. Flawless and noisy from part to part, the catchiness that also permeates licks the cheek much like a hot lover in the chills that it creates. Goose bumps follow with the riffy and dark “Deadly Weapon,” whereas the listener can only sit and try to figure out where the deep tones are coming from without a bass guitar. I'll have to agree with Ari when he simply says, “Yeah! Yeah!” As “No Metal” and “On the Road” finish out this set of songs, one can only be confounded by the fact that though they are doing nothing special (simple rock 'n' roll, for chrissakes), but the sounds and the spirit that comes through is somehow unique.

With a taut and reckless agenda, Monotonix have arrived Stateside to place ne'er-so-gently the seed of rock to permanently deafen our ears to half-assery and completely infect our brains with a stark violence and celebration that we may have lost somewhere along the way. Cheers to you, Monotonix. [Drag City]

-Luc Rodgers


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