The next big thing from Seattle? We review Absolute Monarchs debut album on Good To Die Records.
Blimey, where to start with this record. Let’s start with location, and see where we end up.
We all know what happened in Seattle in the early nineties, the great music, the attitude, the tragedies. The legacy. When Kurt decided enough was enough, devoid of its one true megastar the grunge scene lost some of its seemingly relentless momentum and as the focus of attention shifted from the Pacific northwest of America to the short-lived fad of Blur and Oasis in the UK that was Britpop, so the music press lost interest. The grunge legacy created in Seattle was a one-off, something that won’t (and shouldn’t) happen again, but it laid a marker on Seattle and set a high bar for any acts or labels to follow. There does seem to be something happening there again though, cue Good To Die Records’ new signing Absolute Monarchs and their brand of angry, high-octane, fevered rock, their debut album 1 to be released on April 16th.
The bending, dirty notes that lead into the opening track ‘Attack’ pretty much set the tone for an aggressive slice of post-ATD-I fury that draws from Mudhoney, Quicksand and Fugazi, an onslaught on the ears and senses that simmers with energy. As a first gambit, it’s raw and to the point. ‘To Hell, Let’s Masquerade’ follows, hinting at Soundgarden’s Superunknown era blend of plucky riffs married with progressive chords and vocals which beneath their outward aggression belie a softer, less primeval side.
Elsewhere, ‘Fell In Line’ is punchy, driven by a boxy snare and domineering chorus vocals and repetitive, jumpy Interpol–esque chord patterns. ‘Thinking Thieves’ is another highlight, fat, dense chords overcome by guttural vocals and filled out with an intensity and sustain that grabs at you whether you want it to or not. Album closer ‘Bled Out’ lessens the pace a little to start with but soon resumes the general rush as the chorus riff dominates.
Absolute Monarchs are refreshingly energetic. It’s been a long, long while since a new American band really made you sit up and listen, and this does exactly that. It’s relentless, tireless and utterly unforgiving. Each song comes in under 3:40, echoing the punk where Absolute Monarch’s roots originally lie, and it has an overall live feel too, which resonates down the line. Having toured with the likes of Helms Alee and Red Fang, and with Mastodon producer Matt Bayles on board too, the future looks particularly bright for them. 1 is a fabulously engaging debut record. Great stuff.
Absolute Monarchs debut album 1 is released on Good To Die Records on April 17th 2012.
Big Tea is now a record label! Our debut single is a limited edition 7” hand numbered white vinyl by the fabulous Absolute Monarchs. Stop by our website by CLICKING HERE to have a listen and get your copy! Love music, live music.
“The Seattle quartet unleashes a torrential thunderfuck that crashes math rock’s meticulous timing and breakneck changes against sleazy, pheromone-fueled bluster.” – SPIN.COM
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