1 (Good to Die)
By Mike Delano
Seattle rockers Absolute Monarchs‘ debut album 1 brings to mind a lot of bunch of other artists, all of them good. “Fell in Line” sounds like what would happen if Kylesa cut all ties with their metal roots and fully embraced their alt side. It’s easy to hear some Sleater-Kinney in the riff on “To Hell, Let’s Masquerade,” which is a great thing: The more Carrie Brownstein-style guitar work in my ears, the better. By the time I heard some shades of No Knife in “Bled Out,” I began to wonder if these guys had access to my record collection, but that kind of variety throughout the album works in the band’s favor. “Thinking Thieves” stretches out the riff, letting you relax in the groove for a bit, “Bad Taste” is a buzzy metal beatdown and “Sharp” is as spiky a three minutes as its name would suggest. Above all, though, these dudes want to be noisy. “It’s Bad” might sound sweet for a second, but before long, vocalist Joel Schneider is howling the chorus and balance is restored. And since Absolute Monarchs do noise so well, that’s not a problem at all.