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Monotonix: Body Language

Monotonix: Body Language

Label:Drag City
Release Date:2008

By Bret McCabe | Posted 5/7/2008

Montonix's Ami Shalev looks like the love child of David Yow and David Crosby, and onstage he tries to bring a monstrous amount of truth. This vocalist for Tel Aviv, Israel's nitro-burning funny car of a power trio is frequently shirtless in the live clips of the band posted online, and he's built like a sinewy bantamweight who apparently has never heard the words "razor," "body waxing," or "cream depilatory" in his life. Handlebar-mustached and proudly sporting the sort of long, curly locks Geezer Butler rocked in early-'70s Black Sabbath, Shalev is the best living definition of "hirsute" since Robin Williams. The man may very well triple in weight when dipped in water.

Or sweat, for that matter, which Monotonix cooks up within seconds of flicking on an amp. As captured on its debut Drag City EP, Body Language, Monotonix is the next iteration of a tried/true rock staple: the body-flailing small combo. From the Music Machine to the Primitive Calculators, from Lake of Dracula to Lightning Bolt, the blunt economy of lasciviously primal guitar riffs and downright nasty drumbeats almost always equals win.

Body Language is a six songs and some 23 minutes of tease--the Judas Priest chug of "Deadly Weapon" and "Summers and Autumns" are the sorts of skuzzy fun you want to hear after a few beers and snorting something disgusting in the bathroom, hard to achieve during the week when lush-life lunches are so frowned upon in the workplace. Guitarist Yonatan Gat fingers sleazy Thin Lizzy runs through "Body Language," the perfect soundtrack for trying to talk an almost drunk 23-year-old woman out of her underwear. And drummer Haggai Fershtman pounds Gat's cheesy Rush notes into dive-bar jubilee in "No Metal," whose noisy morass nicely frames Shalev's groovy howls. Yes, it's knuckle-dragging fun, but we'll take even money on a caveman rocker over a DJ mouth-breather to get the oblivion started any time and place.

E-mail Bret McCabe

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