Concert Reviews

Monotonix at Glob

Monotonix July 4th, 2010 Glob

Glob was at partial capacity by the time Expiation opened the show with a set of fairly straight-ahead hardcore. You couldn't fault the musicianship, and the frontman at least seemed as genuinely menacing as he was confrontational: At the end of the set, he threw the ride cymbal and its stand into the crowd. If you can't be scary with your creativity, be scary with violence, apparently.

By the time Animal Collector arranged its gear in the hallway and short staircase from the entrance to the usual performance space, it was obvious more than a few people who don't normally go to DIY shows had made it through the rain. And as this band played, Monotonix was loading in.

Animal Collector basically consisted of the three members of Hot White, plus Aaron Miller of Consumer Products and Mike Reisinger of Epileptinomicon. It was a far more stripped down hardcore sound with the savage repetition heard in bands like Brainbombs.

In the cramped quarters, things were bound to get a little crazy, and at one point, Tiana Bernard got off the bass and took up the mike and hurled herself at Reisinger, who picked her up on his shoulders and spun her around. Later, she hurled herself at him again and climbed up amps and splintery step railing. The cover of Moss Icon's "I'm Back Sleeping or Fucking or Something" brought out the catharsis of anger and alienation in Miller's vocals in a way to match the rest of the hysteria.

The venue was probably at capacity by the time Glow in the Dark Hand performed. It was a girl named Aubrey, wearing a green net on her head and looking like a British science fiction character, on vocals, and Travis Egedy on electronics. Overall, it was trippy and surreal, like some goth band making expansive but still dark house music instead of some kind of subpar EBM.

Closing the night out was the act everyone came to see, Monotonix, a band which brings out the animal in its audiences. Playing fairly bluesy, late-'60s-ish rock and roll, Monotonix sounds like what might have happened had Ted Nugent dispensed with his right wing views and joined the MC5 as a guitarist.

The crowd gathered around the band, and the performance space moved throughout the show so that these guys played in every area of the warehouse including the back patio outside. It was all upraised arms and fists and writhing bodies during the songs, and you couldn't count the number of people who surfed the crowd including Ami Shalev who actually got into a nice, padded chair and sat in it while being passed around the crowd before tumbling out of it.

Shalev also drummed while being carried about, giving us all a Dionysian punk show instead of the usual nihilistic variety. Few bands commit as fully to working the crowd up into a joyous frenzy, and the guys of Monotonix proved themselves masters of the art of rock and roll theater minus the pretension.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: Anyone who can play straight up rock music and make it seem revolutionary and relevant still, is okay with me. Random Detail:Someone who didn't seem to know much about the band tried to do a video interview with the group's guitarist after the show. By the Way: The pouring rain kept most of the knuckleheads away.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.