Concert Review: Monks Of Doom
First of all, it seems funny for a zine that once panned Camper Van Beethoven to now sing that band’s praises, but hey, I’ll do anything once.
If you’re like me, though, you’ll agree that singer David Lowery wasn’t always CVB’s saving grace—instead, the band’s superb musicianship and instrumentals were among the best in ethno-rock history.
From that sturdy foundations come the Monks of Doom. Former CVB guitarist Greg Lisher, bassist Victor Krummenacher and drummer Chris Pedersen joined with Ophelia’s leader Davis Immergluck for an interesting side project. Now that their respective bands are gone, though, these guys have gotten serious.
Playing the Bar & Grill, the quartet has toughened up its psychedelic ethno-rock. Though many numbers sounded like latter-period Camper Van Beethoven, that’s probably because Krummenacher and Lisher had so much to do with CVB’s songwriting. One thing CVB didn’t allow is Krummenacher’s singing, which recalls CVB frontman, David Lowery. His vocals shined on “Silver Reflection” during which Lisher’s guitar lines and Immergluck’s mandolin provided sharp counterpoints. These guys kicked ass. The biggest surprise of the night, though, was No. Carolina’s Southern Culture on The Skids. This trio helped put the fun back in Southern Rock.
Singer Rick Miller introduced most songs in a frightening, Gomer Pyle imitation, but there was no resisting a two-chord, punched-up numbers like “Biscuit-Eater” and a cover of “Viva La Santa,” a hymn to those horrid Mexican wrestling/horror movies from the ‘50s. Also, most songs drew from rockabilly, hillbilly rock, ‘50s blues and the same ‘60s kitschy rock pilfered by early The B-52’s songs. Shame on you if you missed this one, and it looks like many did. I expect big things out of both bands before too long. Opening the show was local band Skin & Bones. What else is new?
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