REVIEW: Monotonix – Live in Toronto, June 14, 2008
Photo by Jade Maravillas
The honest truth is that I heard Body Language, the debut EP from these Israeli monsters/rockers, way before I actually had any idea who they were. It showed up on my desk with about a blagillion other records, I listened to it, and I thought it was really good. Kind of Sabbath-meets-Fugazi-meets-twenty-fuzzboxes. Good jams for the kids. As it turns out, this isn’t how most people first hear Monotonix. If I read blogs, apparently I would know this: Monotonix are basically the most insane live band since Iggy and the Stooges. Or at least, they really want to you to think that, and for most of their set, you almost do.
Hailing from Tel Aviv, these guys were in town for NXNE and played something like five shows. Which, after you’ve seen one, seems completely insane. At this, their final Toronto show of the weekend, the band packed Sneaky Dee’s, set up on the floor, and started their set by ripping the video projector off the ceiling. Legend has it these guys are banned from every venue in their hometown, which is why they’re here all the time now, and it kind of makes sense. Vocalist Ami Shalev pushed through the crowd, stole people’s beers, spit them back at confused de-beered dudes, took all the garbage from the bathroom, threw it in the air, and then ended up on top of the crowd for the set’s entire second half. The drummer also concluded the set held aloft by the crowd, and I think I was also holding up a guitar player at one point, but I didn’t have my glasses on, so who really knows. Musically, the band is a mess, but who cares? Monotonix are basically all hype and schtick, but the hype is mostly well-desereved and the schtick kicks ass. It’s not Iggy and it’s not GG, but it’s a fine fucking way to get kicked around on a Saturday night.