the monocles
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the monocles

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Skyline Network Review"

You know when ever people write about garage rock, they always talk about it in waves. Need proof? Keep reading. First there's that whole golden era back in the 60s. Then there's the wave in the 70s. Then one in the 80s. Then one in the 90s. Then the one from a few years ago that made lots of people with the definitive article in the front of a noun lots of money. Is this it? Or rather, if there's always a garage wave, how do we know exactly when one ended and the next began? I guess they're like ocean waves that way, they just kinda keep coming and while you know where the crest and the gully is, you can't really create some sort of neat and tidy real-world demarcation to say where one begins and the other ends. There are no lines in the sand, only foam rushing from place to place.

If we could drop our bobber in the endless ebb and flow at a certain point, we'd prolly pick Mudhoney's Superfuzz Bigmuff + Early Singles as the first time garage rock caught our attention and stuck around like swimmer's ear. There's a great quote about this period of the band, which we will summarize from memory as follows: "You've got songs about dogs. You've got songs about being sick. You've can play five chords, but you only use three in each song." We feel like this boils down our affinity for garage music rather eloquently: In other words, it's simple music, played far heavier than its subject matter. But with Mudhoney, there was always that lyrical and compositional darkness that set it apart from other rockers of the lube joint. (Indeed, that feint towards the shadows and geographic locality alone may be the reason why the band ended up with the Grunge label more than the music itself - I mean, do they really have all that much in common with Pearl Jam?) "Touch me I'm Sick" is really a pretty unpleasant song, certainly in no danger of veering off into into Frat or Party rock. And it's this same dissonance and distance from celebration that we think is part of why we enjoy this 7" from The Monocles.

Recorded at Pigeon Eater Studios here in town, the title track quickly sets up what to expect. What you notice immediately is how the vocals are wrapped in a layer of effects, separating you, almost disconcertingly, from the lyrics and the performer. With a Born Liars song, for example, you might picture yourself up on stage dancing among them, but here the vocals and the way the guitars drag the drums along, you can be forgiven for thinking that no, there's something a bit more weighty going on here - maybe it's best if take it in rather than trying to somehow incorporate my own private celebration into the performance.

Tonight follows suit, tapping into the same set of inappropriately workhouse pop chords that bring to mind Butch Vig-era Sonic Youth, though with decidedly more straight-ahead structures. The lyrics are about confusion and displacement, and the music backs it up. "Darken Your Door" gets back to our original premise, and why we've enjoyed this release so much. It's a simple song (and note, please, that simple is not a bad thing AT ALL) with a catchy riff about something as mundane as a "rip in the couch." But though it couldn't be sillier if it was a lament about a car with a thousand clowns in it, there's something more, something unfortunate and not joyous about what we're hearing. We can't quite put our finger on it, but we know for sure that we, too, don't want anything to do with that rip, even while the song about it is rocking us. Recommended. -

"Mammoth Press Review"

Like some glorious bastard child of garage rock and the whole SST catalog, The Monocles debut 7" Outta Yr Mind is a quick and dirty slab of dirty noisy punk rock goodness. Featuring Jeff Johnson, former drummer of O' Pioneers!!!, these three tracks last just long enough to shot gun a few beers and get your buzz going before you need to flip the wax. Luckily each side is just as good as the one before it, so you'll find yourself rocking these three tracks all night long. Side A holds the title track, which sets the pace and tone for the rest of the record while rocking your face off. Side B is just as much fun and finds the band give the Thermals a run for their scuzzy money with the fantastically raw "Darken Yr Door." This one is simple no frills bass ass garage punk, and with its bad ass tunes and the added bonus of bass ass Mitch Clem drawn cover art Outta Yr Mind isn't going to live up to its name. - Mammoth Press

"Late Night Wallflower Review"

Hells yeah! 7-Inch Corner is back, baby! Today I got a tasty treat courtesy of Houston, TX’s The Monocles. I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely give money to an alligator playing guitar on the street, mostly because well, it’s an alligator that could eat my arm. Props to Mitch Clem’s unmistakable style there.

The Monocles play simple, stripped-to-the-skivvies, dirty punk rock ’n roll similar to bands like Modern Machines and the Marked Men. There’s no fringes of death metal, hardcore, folks, electro-dance-bonanza or whatever here. Just bad whiskey, evil women, and good times. Side A’s title track is probably the best of the 3 songs here, "Tonight" is OK, and I really like "Darken Your Door" as well. All in all, it was great way to start my day crankin’ these guys through my headphones as I fought the 15-degree cold to get to work, wishing I was in Houston with these dudes not having to stress over winter gear and my ass freezing to death on a bus seat. Oh well, at least I’ve got the Monocles. - Late Night Wallflower

"Out of Yr Mind 7" review"

First off, I've got to give Houston garage-rockers The Monocles credit for knowing which is the absolutely perfect song to start with. While all of the band's brand-new 7" is good, A-side "Out of Your Mind" is downright excellent, a door-kicking blast of streetwise rawk that owes equal amounts to Spirit of '69-era streetpunk and bands like The Sonics or Gas Huffer (with a little surf-rock as a chaser, to boot). I'm still a little hazy on the lyrics, even after repeated listens, but that stomping, heroic lead-in has been stuck in my brain for days, proving harder to dislodge than even some of the insanely catchy kid-music my daughter listens to.
On the flip, "Tonight" is slower and more delicate, sort of like a less-peppy Hives track, but it runs into the same problem I seem to have with the Hives themselves: when the band slows things down, the energy just gets sucked out of the song. I know, I know -- playing fast is no substitute for a good song. Sometimes, though, it sure helps. Luckily, the Monocles pick the pace up again with the sharp Rocket from the Crypt-isms of "Darken Your Door" (love the frantic part at the end with the grunting) and after my feet catch the tempo again, the world seems right as rain once more. - Space City Rock (

"Monocles Invade Domy Cove!"

QUICK! TO THE DOMY CAVE! If you go now, before John Sears drops off the next Grey Ghost, you'll be able to walk right in, sit right down and buy not one, not two but three releases by members of the Monocles. Yep! In addition to their Blood Sucking Freaks GG, which is as solid as it is seriously limited edition and limited time only, you'll find their brand spanking new 7" and a solo CDR by vocalist Pope Jon PPPP. Dang. Thats three. Thats three more than the number of Will Boone artwork price sheets that they had last time we were there. Thats alot.

We'll spend some time delving into the specifics of their seven inch in the near future, but what we can say about Freaks we feel like we need to do quickly before it's lost to the ether and your chance to pick it up is gone forever. Imagine early Mudhoney, with a bit more prediction for the garage than the Ranier Beer factory, with fewer songs about being dogs and being sick, and more about bones and blood. There's a little less humor, and a little more grit - but we are struck by how much this release had us longing for the days when Superfuzz Bigmuff was our tome of love, and Mark Arm the Tom Petty of our locker. Go buy it. Prove us wrong.

Catch the Monocles Saturday night at Rudyards as they wind down their tour with Something Fierce. Born Liars and Canyon of the Skull are also on the bill. Or, if this weekend doesn't provide you with enough of the near-sighted peanut mascot accessory fix, you can go see them play next month at the engagement party of Monocle Jonathan Benjamin Patrick to ALARMA! bassist April 5k Bren. Awe. Band Love.
---1.25.08 - Skyline Network (


Out of Your Mind b/w Tonight and Darken Your Door - 7" vinyl - Loose Recs

Perth Control: Live from Australia - Limited CD-r

Blood Sucking Freaks (Grey Ghost #52) - Limited CD-r




The Monocles are a three piece rock n' roll band from Houston, Texas. They're spawned from record collections that are well put together, and they know the importance of crafting the song. They have been told--immediately, post-performance--that they "sounded like
f#!kin alligators or some sh*t, man! Whoooo!" They have also been compared to bands like the Replacements, the Wipers, and what it would sound like if "Rocket From the Tombs had a hate child with Mission of Burma"...let's throw Kim Fowley, 13th Floor Elevators and Lou Reed in there, too, for good measure.

The Monocles started playing together in December of 2005 with a different drummer, but post-rehab life proved to be a full-time adjustment for him, so he left town to hop trains and see the country. Enter Jeoaf, circa March 2006, and the true savage beat was awakened!

Being independently-minded fellows, the Monocles decided to form their own vinyl-only record label, Loose Recs (think "Loose Recs Sink Ships" on a t-shirt, dig?), and played the debut 7" release party on January 11th, 2008. That show also served as their inaugural tour kickoff, seeing them to Chicago and back, plus everywhere in-between. The tour went quite well (they returned home in the black, financially--need more be said?). Video footage from a house show is currently circulating the web as well as a live on-air set (once available via podcast from the station's website, now available by request via email from the band) on WSBF radio, both from Clemson University....crazy night, that one.

The 7-inch songs, "Out of Your Mind", "Tonight" and "Darken Your Door", have been reviewed by a couple of blogs and close friends. Said reviews are available here in the press section.

A full-length record is currently being recorded and is expected by August of 2008.

What sets the Monocles apart the most is the full-on intensity that they've brought to their music and live show, especially on their recent tour. It's the same energy you'd expect from the Stooges, or possibly from David Yow. They sound killer and put on a hell of a show--there is no phoning it in! This is definitely not your kid sister's big bopper...this is the real deal.