Friday, January 29, 2010

Guest review: Kevin Borke covers last weekend's Monotonix/Coathangers/Hawks show

There were two things I was told before heading into the Monotonix / Coathangers / Hawks concert at the Drunken Unicorn this past Saturday. First off was that Monotonix was fucking nuts and the other was to watch my camera equipment. I didn't really know to what degree to take these statements since I've seen my fair share of brutal shows, but both were about as accurate as one could get.

The evening started out with The Hawks, a band who I had heard nothing about much to the dismay of people I talked to in the crowd. Word on the street is that they're becoming one of Atlanta's newest standout bands. Musically it falls into the garage rock, punk sphere...and that is not to say that it is generic or derivative because their front man is so engaging it's hard to not be pulled into their set. Their front man has enough energy to force the crowd to have a great time. Their set ended with what seems to be a typical display of complete nakedness and attaching strings of firecrackers to his clothes and lighting them off amongst the crowd. I definitely look forward to seeing them again, although not the lead singer's penis. I could maybe go without that, but all the other stuff is fair game.

Next up was the Coathangers which readers are probably well aware of so we can skip the intro. The band played with a fresh vigor that I hadn't seen in a while. They had their busiest year in 2009 and they really appeared to be in high spirits on stage. They debuted a new song, which sounded great. It seemed on par tempo wise to Getting Mad And Pumpin Iron with bits of Tumor Boy style melody. I talked with The Coathangers before the show and this seems to be one of a handful of songs they've been working on so let's hope there's an official release with some new material sometime in the near future.

Wasting no time, Monotonix set up right on the floor. I'm sure people that have seen them before have heard it all before so don't rely on me to describe it in any new or witty fashion so let's cut to the chase. Simply put, the Monotonix is the best live band I may have ever seen. Setting up on the floor, forcing the crowd to engage with the band, this 3 piece Israeli metal / punk band ripped through a set that felt like it was 30 minutes, but was probably closer to an hour and a half. Through the night they moved all their equipment through the Unicorn somehow never really stopping for a break in song or energy.

Although no trademark fires were started the crowd did lift the lead singer into the air on a drum stool to beat on another hoisted drum. This seems to be on-par for their live show and in no way would I ever think this would get old considering just how awesome it is. I have to say that the Monotonix have managed to put together a live show that is one has to experience to believe. The crowd pounded on drums, carried equipment and the morphed into this ball of energy that I've yet to see anyone else accomplish. And not in any destructive way, it wasn’t a mosh pit full of steroid pumped meat heads but a music fueled beast that seemed to never stop...feeding off the energy of the band and the band feeding off the crowd in some odd climax of synergy. The best part of the evening had to be the point where the band moved into the bar area only to be kicked out because, I dunno if many people have noticed but as the night goes on the bar at the Drunken Unicorn turns into a dance club of sorts for white people that wanna be black or something. It was dark so that's probably a horrible description but I do know that at one point 'play that funky music white boy' was blasting out of the speakers in the bar. So having three Borat looking metal guys bust into the party and climb over just about everything they can find is definitely not condusive to the vibe the bar crowd were trying to have. Their songs seem to be influenced by the hard hitting Zeppelin style metal of the 70's...very powerful guitar chords, primal drumming and sharp belted out lyrics from their dynamic lead singer.

I know it will be a while before the Monotonix play Atlanta again, but they are not to be missed, and the Hawks I can see doing quite well in the Atlanta scene...and the Coathangers, well they're one of my favorite bands on the market right now and can do no wrong in my eyes.

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