Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Monsieurs - Self-Titled

I first heard about The Monsieurs since Hilken Mancini is a member. I've been a fan of her work since first hearing Fuzzy back in 1996, and have followed her career ever since. When I heard she was in a new band, I expected more of the cheery alterna-pop that characterized Fuzzy, or maybe something more on the lines of her collaboration with Chris Colburn. Instead what I got was some of the fuzziest, sludged out garage rock I've heard in ages.

This album is loud. And noisy. Really, really noisy. But it's also catchy as hell. "Wolves" has  a "bah bah bah bah" chorus followed immediately by a furious thrash of guitar and some kind of vocal. On first listen, you might turn away thinking it's just obnoxious noise, but as you listen, you can peal back layers to find the nuggets of actual songs within. The rest of the band is rounded out by Andy Macbain and Erin King. 

I can't stress how pleasantly surprising this album is. Usually as a musician is entering their 2nd decade of making music, they start slowing down, a la Thurston Moore's latest album. This is by far Mancini's most aggressive release. It's basically cramming Sonic Youth and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion into one band, but adding some Rocket From the Crypt and Detroit Cobras.

For more info on The Monsieurs, check them out on Facebook. Their Bandcamp doesn't include this release, but Slovenly Recordings' Bandcamp does. 

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