Monoli (Devil Doll)
by Craig Regala
From strength to strength. Truly, the metalized, twisted riff rockin’ outburst of a band who’s stood on stages with the finest of stoner (Men of Porn), hard-art-hammer lords (Oxbow), improv-wazzle-prog (Stinking Lizaveta), the masters of heart-tugging drone (Pelican), and been welcomed like the True Goddamn Champs they are. Where does this pedigree come from? Fucked if I know. All I care about is their ability to bite down hard like the illegit spawn of ’80s Boner, Homestead, and Touch & Go recs, all grown up and flowing an’ chomping into the middle of this millennia. A bit bulkier and pointed in the groove/melody (read: Melted metal) way the tunes stick and the vocals catch that brings them both further in, and farther out at the same time. How’s that? Well, it’s the expansion and control of the musical language. Ask Sonic Youth, The Sabians, or Failure.
I dig what you may call “alternative” bands of this era who bear down with no irony or consciousness: People who’ve absorbed acid-drill metal as a good thing. Bands like Jumbo’s Killcrane today, Scratch Acid when today’s grad students were nine, and Tad, Nirvana, and Helmet in the good ol’ days. Floor, The Mars Volta, Minus, Jucifer, Cursive, Trail of Dead, Tomahawk, Acid Ape… man, there’s just a buncha cool hard rock bands chewing their way through general marketing terms in favor of getting to the thing of it. Amen.
(PO Box 30666 Long Beach, CA 90853)