Absolute Monarchs 1 Rocks Hard and Heavy


Absolute Monarchs


Good To Die, out April 17

Pegged at Spin as one of their "6 Northwest Bands You Need to Know" and lovingly plugged throughout the Seattle alt-press, some bands would have been carried away by the hype by now. But the 2 years between Absolute Monarchs' four-song demo and their first album have been used wisely, resulting in 1, a well-crafted, 10-song debut of righteously distorted rock.

Deep, double guitars provide structure for 1's driving refrains and solid hooks, and along with Joel Schneider's (the other half of blues-rock duo My Goodness) snarled vocals and Michael von Stubblefield's bang-up drum play, make one hell of a racket. From the shredding on anthemic "Killing the Old" to the jangled, dissonant guitars of "Sharp," Absolute Monarchs rock hard, keep a heavy hand on the volume, but stay within tight songwriting perimeters that keeps tracks on their mark. You can hear echos of The Kills in some bobbing guitar measures, a bit of San Diego beach-punk (Pinback, Drive Like Jehu, etc) in others, but that greasy garage rock is pure Seattle.

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