WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

Put a little local in yer step.
August 27, 2008, 6:45 pm
Filed under: New Music

Two new local releases just walked themselves through the door today!

Monsonia – Growler CD (self release)

It’s funny, no more than an hour after Grayson was mentioning the new album to me, did it walk right through the door. Monsonia is now a full sounding, exciting three piece. This is not to say that they were not an exciting two piece, ’cause they were, this is just exactly what I’ve been wanting to hear out of a local band for a little bit. The band is Carter Browning, Nick Peterson and Andy Willard. Nick recorded it back in June ’07 at Track & Field Studio (his studio) and the result was mastered by the lovely John Crouch. The cover art is a reproduction of an amazing etching by 19th century artist, Gustave Dore.

The music is thick and guttural with rhythmic and repetitive (though piercing) guitar. A hypnotic, melodic rhythm is set and the band mates variate away from the base at times exploring a bit more territory as the others hold the ship steady. Each returns at their given time, just as the music starts to soar and build. The cover art is actually extremely fitting for what it holds. The album is dark, gloomy and spacious, yet there are many swells built, dashed and broken within each movement.

If you’re into local greats – Maple Stave, Hazerai or Auxes, this album is for you. It’s great to see more bands like this start to really spin heads in the area. Another easy comparison to make for Monsonia is gonna have to be Fugazi and a handful of those other seminal Dishcord / DC bands.

I really like this band and these guys. Definitely worth picking up. They played in the shop back in the glory days of errrr…ah, two years ago (with Maple Stave and Manamid), so they’ll always hold a sweet spot here.

Stratocruiser – Egg Shells CD (New Atlas Digital)

Two local albums in one day and both self-released at that! That’s a truly gratifying and exciting thing to see!!

Stratocruiser offer up a different side of our beloved local music. Coming more from the influence of 80s college rock and powerpop, they retain that jangly guitar pop the area was known for a handful of years back. It’s good to hear the sound keeping its head above the water. The songs are a bit more psychedelic at times than the traditional Comboland sound, but they’re still keeping that good fail-safe backbone.

The production is slick, but not too slick. You gotta keep a good amount of grit in the recording if you want to pull off this sound. Who wants to hear powerpop that’s too powerpop, right? Sure, I could use a little more crunch and distortion in the guitar lines, but that’s just ’cause that’s the type of day I’m having. All in all, the sounds are where they need to be when they need to be there. I know that sounds silly to say, but there’s a fine line between powerpop and cheesy. It’s hard to straddle the line and not fall off to the wrong side.

Recently I discovered the Neighborhoods and the Woods through one of those lovely blog sites and fell in love with them. Twenty years after the fact. Oops. This sound reminds me a lot of listening to those albums over the last few weeks. Solid college rock powerpop. Incidentally, the Woods were actually a local band – they were one of Terry Anderson’s many bands and they were awesome! Perhaps there’s something to that? Dunno. Even Mitch Easter hopped on board to help out on a little bit of the production duties. Interesting. Perhaps this album came out twenty years too late? Dunno. But in the natural music-repeats-itself cycle, this could be more than perfectly (and brilliantly) timed.


6 Comments so far
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I’ve recorded with Nick twice, and he’s an awesome guy. Monsonia is great! I’m glad to see they’re getting some publicity.

Comment by Ben

Nick rules.

Comment by Greg Barbera

Chaz, we got the record streaming over here, too: http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A263248

It’s fantastic.

Comment by currincy

great, thanks for the link grayson!!

Comment by wnng

[…] I know you think I am biased and yes, its true, but I am not the only one who loves them!  The new album, Growler, got “album of the month” from the Independent.  See the review here.   Also, Chaz over at Bull City Records loves them too. […]

Pingback by Time to refill your Growler « Upapaepops’s Weblog

Thanks for the kind words.


Comment by StratoMick

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