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Tuesday, May 03, 2005
  I lost my mind at the Hawkwind show

Monoshock: "Striking a Match in the Year 4007"

Monoshock: "Hawkwind Show"

Monoshock: "Mexican Dentistry"

Monoshock could’ve benefited from some good, old-fashioned temporal displacement. If they were blasting out this crud today they could very easily be getting some of the underground attention that’s been bestowed upon Comets on Fire and other, more outright noise bands. Had they come about ten years earlier they could have saddled up alongside folks like Chrome, Crime, and Swell Maps, and left a nice little footnote for those who dig intelligent space-raunch and cosmic punk jams. And if the sixties were their day, they’d be up there with the Godz and White Light / White Heat as prime foundational elements. But that fourth dimension is also a fuckin’ river, and part of our plight is to make do with where we’re plopped. ’89 to ’95 wasn’t the best time for this stuff, as bad “alternative” and occasionally good, but generally pansified and/or eggheaded, indie-rock were sucking up all the CMJ positions and Cute Band Alerts. Why would Album 88 touch this shit when they could just spin Velocity Girl’s latest another couple dozen times, instead?

I doubt Monoshock holds any grudges, though. Dudes who’d make music like this probably aren’t the sort of people who care about any of that stuff. From Oakland by way of Santa Cruz, Monoshock delved deep into the sort of heavy psychedelic noise rock that would later be touched on by folks like Comets, Acid Mothers Temple, and Subarachnoid Space. Their one album, 1995’s two-lp Walk to the Fire, is apparently some sort of lost modern classic, but I have yet to hear any of it. I did pick up a copy of the compilation Runnin’ Apelike from the Backwards Superman: 1989-1995 in San Francisco last week, and I will thoroughly vouch for its sporadic excellence. Comprised of three singles, two compilation tracks, a couple songs from their 1989 demo tape, and five previously unreleased tunes, Runnin’ Apelike is a solid entrant into the mind-zap canon, and here are a few songs for your edification. “Striking a Match in the Year 4007” is a warped vortex of idiotic rock squall, operating on about seven quarters of an ass and who knows how many disparate chemicals. The relatively straight-forward “Hawkwind Show” proves that the band could write a pretty good pop song if they wanted to, while also paying tribute to an obvious inspiration. Finally, the instrumental “Mexican Dentistry” is a whole bunch of random shit splattering all over the place, and barely held together by the gravity of one simple dumbass riff. Goodness!
 
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