Monotonix

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Monotonix were a 3-piece garage rock band from Tel Aviv, Israel active throughout 2005-2011. They stormed the indie music scene, wreaked havoc and mayhem, and then promptly erupted in ball of flaming glory. True rockers to the core, they became infamous for their insanely chaotic live shows that usually included some combination of fire, stripping down to short shorts or less, and/or placing band members inside garbage bins. Theirs weren’t the kind of shows you could stand at the back with your arms folded looking cool, mainly because singer Ami Shalev was likely to steal your high ball and use it to douse your neighbours, all the while smiling and yelling maniacally into his microphone. Clambering amongst literally every corner of the venue, scaling walls and dangling head first from the roof wearing nothing but his red gaunch and sweaty matted torso fur, Shalev was an absolute nutcase worth his weight in pure entertainment. It’s as though each show was a gigantic birthday present, and it was his job to excitedly tear the place apart and discover what’s really hiding behind the facades. As illustrated on their debut EP cover art, Monotonix became known as the ultimate crowd surfers, where even drummers Ran Shimoni and Haggai Fershtman (plus a slew of toms and symbols) would make their way across the audiences’ straining outstretched arms – usually during the middle of a song (http://blogs.suntimes.com/ourtown/monotonix.jpg). Understandably and commendably, the trio were banned from most venues in Israel, many concerts cut short by a manual power outage from the owner or by local police force invasion. So, as a wandering carefree drunkard might, Monotonix sought their fortune elsewhere – the world at large.

Beyond their live antics, Monotonix were fundamentally a solid group of songwriters. With a raw and gritty sound, they kept their convictions clear: shred or die. Using Yonaton Gat’s muddy, gnarled, bass-heavy guitar and a bare-bones drum kit, they focused on driving, explosive riff structures and dynamic patterns that carry with a force much greater than the sum of its parts. Shalev’s curiously catchy vocal work lands somewhere between yelling and singing, with an embodiment of multiple personas and inflections that add an interesting dimension. In short, they deliver some commendable, memorable  tunes.

Montonix’s main discography consists of the aforementioned “Body Language” EP (arguably their best work), and LPs “Where Were You When It Happened?” and “Not Yet”. Keeping to their simple nature, their disbandment message simply read, “The End THANK YOU!”

Favourite track: Summers and Autumns (https://youtu.be/ZQ9qH7D7IfY)… just good ol’ fashioned rock.

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