This band might have been your life, if your ear bent toward the anti-schools of DC post-hardcore, bass-thud rage from Chicago or their conjoined offspring in the Northwest. The herb monsonia relieves dysentery; the guitar, bass and drums trio taking the name here growls and scowls through five numbers, ranging from high dynamic moves to screaming fits.
Monsonia started playing together three years ago, but only played their first live gigs in 2004. Focusing intently on their own practices makes sense with such internalized strife in these songs; it’s a bad idea to let the dog off the leash before he’s learned restraint. The cathartic angst-tension may be tightly coiled, but the sound is never softened. In intersecting lines, vocalist/guitarist Carter Browning spits quick phrases over Andy Willard’s drum fills, with a familiar rattling bass anchor hammered out by David Alston. “I’ve Been Practicing My Free Association” bobs and head-fakes listeners into submission as cyclical rhythmic patterns revolve against the screaming clatter. Some tangential forays into playful guitar strumming and slowed down sections spreads “Comedian=Assface” all over the map.
Look for more from this trio on your local music map this year.