Published Dec 13, 2010In 2005, the Dirtbombs released a double CD compilation of singles and odds and ends called If You Don't Already Have a Look. The title was derived from a hand-out the band came across playing a European garage rock festival encouraging bands playing that didn't have a "look" or gimmick to create one.
Monotonix, from Tel Aviv, Israel, already have a look and that look has nothing to do with powdered wigs or Mexican wrestling masks. Theirs is taking over an entire venue, literally and physically, playing every corner and every angle.
Composed of three hairy gentleman clad in running shorts, Monotonix launched riff-heavy, blunted-out scum rock, with only a mere drum kit, guitar and ample Marshall stacks to shoulder the burden. The hook is the band, spurred on my nomadic/shamanic lead singer Ami Shalev, who refused to stay put, breaking the traditionally audience-imposed fourth wall and spreading the rock love like peanut butter.
When a band spend more time jumping on the bar than trying to redeem drink tickets one worries about the presence of actual songs, but this particular group of extroverts had that ground covered. The crowd was as game as any, forming a communal circle as the wild-maned band pounded out their heavy jams. Put simply, Monotonix gleefully stuffed the elements of performance and spectacle back into the traditionally staid Saturday night rock show in a most unpredictable way.
Openers Neon Windbreaker charmingly sped through a short set, with fidelity indebted to early '90s Dischord and AmRep. If they let the particularly tight rhythm section lead the way and take the vocal histrionics down a notch, they will satisfy the promise they showed during this opening slot.