Whether it’s the genesis of grunge or the alt-rap of Shabazz Palaces, Seattle is a hotbed for musical progression and evolution. The factors of right place, right time may have all the impact; with so much incumbent weather, singers/rappers/bands have few options but to continually strive toward being better, louder, and more sonically diverse. It’s been like that since the early days of performers like Jimi Hendrix, and continues now with noise-rock outfit Absolute Monarchs.
The band — bassist/vocalist Joel Schneider, guitarists Shawn Kock and Miki Sodos, and drummer Mike Stubz — played their first show at the 2010 Capitol Hill Block Party. Since that time, they’ve released several singles and played shows with the likes of Red Fang, Les Savy Fav, and Cold Cave. The dedication has paid off, earning the group a slot at Seattle Weeklys 2010 REVERB Festival and being named one of 2010’s 10 best local bands by CityArts Magazine.
Such accolades come courtesy of a tightly refined sound that teeters between blaring innovation and reappropriating the dissonance created by indie crews like Jesus Lizard or The Monorchid, with bits of Sonic Youth and Dead Kennedys thrown in. The band utilizes heavy-handed drumming, crunchy guitars, snarling vocals, and, of course, waves of properly disbursed feedback to annihilate ear drums. Yet their approach, almost rustic, with a decided pop lean to it, makes for tunes that extend beyond the mass of noise-rockers simply making a whole lot of racket.
On April 17th, Good To Die Records will release the foursome’s debut album, 1. Leading up to that release, CoS is streaming the entire 10-track effort in full for the next five days. The album was produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Russian Circles, Minus The Bear), with songs written by the band. Stand-out tracks include “Thinking Thieves”, “It’s Bad”, and “Hide It Well”. Stream it below and pre-order your copy of the album at Good to Die Records.