Hide & Seek - The Monsters (Off The Hip)
Fuzz garage trash rock's best-kept secret is a multi-headed, twin-drummer-driven thing that eats the frail and aged and comes from Switzerland. The aptly-named Monsters have three albums ("Birds Eat Martians", "I See Dead People" and "Youth Against Nature") to their credit, and this compilation on Australia's busiest underground label compiles their best, adding a couple of exclusive bonus recordings.
The Monsters are unique. They have two drummers playing one kit ("The Clone Drum") and more fuzz than Saturday morning with a mindful of no memories other than the twin visions of the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam Black Label and the inside of a toilet bowl. They also have, as frontman, the seriously unhinged Beat-Man, a tonsil-shredder extraordinaire and owner of Voodoo Rhythm, the record company with the globe's biggest and best roster of lo-fi trash rock.
Beat-Man is a guy who, in his past guise of The Reverend Beat-Man (leader of the Un Believers), delivered perfect gospel-country-punk songs like "Fuck You Jesus Fuck You Oh Lord". The good Rev was a couple of paces down the Darwinian evolutionary scale from one-man demolition company Lightning Beat-Man, a wrestling mask-clad musical saboteur whose stock-in-trade was staging tag-team spectaculars and clearing venues quicker than you could say: "Fuck me, what is this guy on?"
No idea if Beat-Man huffs helium for light relief, but he does a great job of strangling whatever's left of his shredded voice and spitting his bloody larynx out onto the floor.
The Monsters play the wildest, strangest mix of trash, rockabilly, acid punk and punk that you'll ever come across. If you don't believe it, stack their take on Gene Vincent's "Hold Me Hug Me" here (one of the unreleased bonuses) against the original, or listen to "Go away fuck your self" and get back to us. You might think you've heard it all before, but The Monsters will shake that notion out of your head and give you whiplash into the bargain. So sue them.
Many songs were laid to tape at London's legendary Toe Rag Studios, where almost everything sounds great (the lightweight and strangely soulless Mr David Viner being the exception). Lo-fi is one thing. Lo-fi in a good studio is another. A definite plus.
You get 21 "songs" (term used advisedly in some cases) for your buck and plenty of paint-peelers among them. I suppose I've heard about half of them, having "I See Dead People" and a Voodoo Rhythm compilation, and the unknown tunes don't disappoint.
Full credit to Off the Hip for having the temerity to give The Monsters an Australian release.