The Terror and Hilarity of Monotonix


Union Hall denizens look on in delight during the candle-wax episode. Several more splendid Rebecca Smeyne pics below.

Monotonix/Dark Meat
Union Hall
Monday, April 7

The bartenders could only look on in horror. The only thing funnier, and more terrifying, than watching the Israeli garage-rock trio Monotonix in concert is watching other people watch Monotonix in concert, recoiling in horror, hands at their sides in a defensive crouch, ready to bat away a cup of beer, a garbage can, a bass drum, or frontman Ami Shalev, a truly deranged, magnificently mustached shirtless gentleman who flung full cups of beer into the crowd, swung from the rafters, stomped up and down the bar, poured beer down his pants, allowed other people to pour beer down his pants, poured burning candle wax down his pants, relocated the drum kit on a whim, mashed the microphone into his butt crack, kissed random concertgoers on the lips, groped a young lass in the crowd (she didn’t seem litigious, perhaps because she was in the opening band, punishingly loud psych-rock faux-cultists Dark Meat), poured a full trash can on his drummer (who took it in stride, never breaking the beat even when he had a trash bag wrapped around him) and, ah, yes, almost forgot: occasionally sang.

Monotonix are actually a pretty great band on musical merits alone: a thrashing trash-rock avalanche, uninhibited and unhinged, one brutally joyous riff after another. But this is probably the most severe the-record-doesn’t-do-it-justice situation ever. And while Ami’s faces are classic, pitched perfectly between goofy serenity and beer-soaked insanity, it’s the horrified folks behind the Union Hall bar who’ll stick with me, unsure how to react to two shirtless sweaty dudes slithering on the bar and screaming. Gaping in disbelief is a completely valid reaction.