Album: Rock and Roll Monsters
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Free mp3: “Chuck Taylors” (’til March 8)
Rock and Roll Monsters happens to be one of those albums that took a few good rounds to get me to rightfully cozy up to it all warm and fuzzily.
Of course that reads so silly to me, now that I’m on the favorable end. But it must be said: Give this one time to steep if you find yourself irresolute. Its frenzied pace will probably snatch you.
What is Rambos? To me, Rambos is a fivesome of bash rock that pumps out tune after successive tune with a kind of “shoot it up and watch it stick” ‘tude that I don’t think I’ve run into in awhile. There’s a confidence, an assurance about these guys (and gal!) that hopes you’ll join them in a voyage through an otherwise contradictory messy but tight jam sesh.
You see, there’s a primitive consistency to their music that I find so endearing. It’s as if they don’t really give a fuck because they’re singing about Chuck Taylors and monster people, but I know they do. They have to. They’re too much a unit to have me think otherwise.
Rambos collectively shoulder the weight of a debut LP by, well, sharing in the responsibilities. It seems everyone sings, often at least two voices (or shouts) leading the way with a steady drum kit and supportive guitars rounding things out.
What I find remarkable, then, is how repetitive it all seems — within a song itself or the album outright — without a resounding sense of fatigue. The turns from verse to chorus to back again are way quicker than the usual, and yet it could all go on longer than it does if they wished it too. Not much exceeds three minutes here.
I’m confident I’ve listened to the first half of Rock and Roll Monsters’ 10 tracks far more than I have its second half. At about the “USA”/”Vampire” mark, the album cuts into a draggy groove that nearly smothers the brash momentum that came before it. Speed picks up again before Rambos say goodbye on album one, but the downshift is noticed and noted.
“Chuck Taylors” is the giveaway you get here because it fulfills much that I’ve been honing it on. (And I like it so.) Though dependent on reiterative hooks, its got a polish to it that boasts a sense of glamour.
- The Chicago-based Rambos is: Jeremy David Miller (bass, vocals), JJ Evans (guitar, vocals), Ryan Anderson (guitar, vocals), Ian Tsan (drums, vocals) and Julie Meckler (vocals).
- Rock and Roll Monsters is available on pre-sale for $10. | Grape Juice Records
- Stream Rock and Roll Monsters totally for free. Perhaps I had a deluxe edition; the one I reviewed had three more tracks. | Bandcamp
- Rambos next play Township (formerly Pancho’s) on April 28. | Event Info
Enjoy this review? Check out other Music Reviews on Chicago Tunes!
Hey! Like Chicago Tunes on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
Stream all the music you’ve heard here in one convenient place on Hype Machine.