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.