By Ian Smith
A new band on me. I have a distant memory of Julian Cope raving about them on Head Heritage but that’s about it. It turns out that Monoshock hailed from California and were pretty much ignored back in the day. I am sure that the mid-teenage Ian Smith would have been too busy listening to Loop or The Telescopes to notice the early singles and too busy hiding in a cupboard to escape ‘The Britpop Explosion’ to stumble across any of their later output.
And it’s a crying shame that I didn’t discover them earlier. The dissonant howl of the Stooges is the first point of reference and this is a sound that DOES NOT LET UP. Riffs and Fuzz are the order of the day and the tracks fly by at breakneck speed. Iggy’s gutteral holler is all over this, spliced with a dash of Hawkwind and a dollop of Pussy Galore. The sound at times is all over the place and all the better for it. ‘Over-produced’ this ain’t.
Monoshock released one long-player, 1995’s ‘Walk To the Fire’, and then they were gone. Which is criminal, really. Not that you can measure music by the yard. There is the occasional nod to English Punk, most notably the ‘Pistols on occasion. I can also hear Barrett-era Floyd on a couple of the more reflective numbers.
After prolonged consideration, I have decided not to mention the sax-solos. I think you should find out this element of the sound by buying the vinyl. Today.
The band that Grunge forgot.
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