Totimoshi Monoli

Third time’s the charm: San Francisco’s Totimoshi reach their career apex with their third album of multifarious metal. Monoli picks up where last year’s brilliant ¿Mysterioso? left off, using but never abusing the noise rock template that has made the Melvins a household name. Beginning with the weighty, Dark-Sided chordage of "Vader” (though not as blatantly as forgotten Florida death metal band DVC), the album runs pell-mell through Melvins’ Atlantic years with the very Stoner Witch-like "The Pigs Are Schemin’” and the Quintaine Americana-meets-the Jesus Lizard slugfest "Fancy Pants.” Guitarist/front-man Tony Aguilar is more confident with his vocals than ever, showing off his impressive ranges of snarls in the maniacally mellow "Light Lay Frowning.” "The Hero Released From Fright” sounds like a heavier version of Nirvana’s cover of the Wipers’ "D-7,” and synchronised clapping prefaces "Make Your Day” before lapsing into straight-laced rock. The homespun "You Know” waltzes in like J Mascis in a mellower Dinosaur Jr., and the album concludes with a long outro of acoustic guitar remnants and mantric vocals like background music for an open house in a monastery. Song for song, Totimoshi easily surpass newer material from King Buzzo and company, as Monoli is indeed satisfying for those Melvins fans who think their heroes are spread too thin most of the time. (This Dark Reign)