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MonstrO

16 Mar

Choosing to go to SXSW always comes with the browsing of uncountable schedules. To really “not miss that one thing you wish you had gone to”, you’ll have to read through the official schedule, check out unofficial showcase notices and grow elephant ears while you’re there.

MonstrO @ Barbarella Patio, SXSW

MonstrO @ Barbarella Patio, SXSW

But sometimes, you also get lucky. One my first look through the bands that were playing, I immediately saw MonstrO on the line-up. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I was already well aware of the Atlanta-/Miami-based band that grew out of Bloodsimple’s and Torche’s respective demises, although the self-titled debut produced by Alice in Chains’ William DuVall is only available as an import here for the time being.

When listening to MonstrO’s record, you’ll find rolling riffs and a flavor of the Seattle sound, but also some elements that are more classic rock, stoner or even psychedelic. What you won’t find that much of is the thing that has everyone linking them to Alice in Chains. I would even go as far as saying that Charlie Suarez’ vocal quality reminds me more of Chris Cornell than any other Seattle singer. Nevertheless, the album is magical. Partly heavy and energetic, partly progressive and otherworldly, it fuses some of rock’s greatest sounds into a full-bodied listen. And who wouldn’t want to see that live?

On the MetalSucks stage at Barbarella Patio, the MonstrO sound really came to life. Slightly heavier live than on record, the performance showed off the truly rocking melodies and vibrant chords that make up the essence of their debut tunes. With this set, they proved to me what I had suspected all along. There’s more to MontrO than meets the “ear”, so to speak. And then there’s even more. And some more after that, too. My only question after this show is: when do we get to see them in Europe?

MonstrO @ Barbarella Patio, SXSW

MonstrO @ Barbarella Patio, SXSW

MonstrO is Charlie Suarez (Sunday Driver) on vocals and guitars, Juan Montoya (Torche) on guitars, Bevan Davies (Bloodsimple, Danzig) on the drums and Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple) on the bass.
To find out more about MonstrO, click here.
Flickr the show here.
Check out Barbarella Patio here.