Saturday, July 11, 2009
Erectus Monotone are re-forming to play a few upcoming shows. So let me see if I can get through a testimonial without pissing someone off in the process. I am even going to proof read this afterwards just to make sure. I think I can do this:
They put out probably the best local music of their era, the early singles were neat and their swan song “Close Up” was real good but their middle release “Erector Set” (strangely the only one that their label Merge never out out) was REALLY GOOD, a short and to the point recording of some of the most frantic energetic and fractured music to ever come out of Raleigh, a nine song blast of girl/guy vocals, two guitar players welding together the most perfect D.Boon/Andy Gill flutter backed by a dependable bass and drums combo. There were a lot of good bands around back then but Erectus Monotone to this day remain sort of a closely kept secret and I wonder what people will think when they play. Will anyone care? Will young kids not even five years old when the band broke up suddenly bum rush the front of the Cats Cradle stage crying and throwing flowers at these four people when they play their hits a couple Saturdays from now?
They should. Starting out with the humblest of beginnings, Kevin Collins and Andrew Freeburn decided to start playing together way back in the days when EVERYBODY had super long hair, so yeah it was a long time ago. Eventually after a few false starts they enlisted Jennifer Walker and Will “Casper” Lee to join. They became a band. ..unfortunately as I remembered it, they really stunk at first. I mean..really.
All of a sudden they recorded at Jerry Kee’s and people were astonished; bare bones simple yet catchy beyond belief, the band no doubt stood out greatly on account of Kevin and his singing. He already had done time in earlier bands like Subculture or Days Of.. so people knew he had the goods. Suddenly they started to play better shows, the singles started to come out and the saga begun.
Soon, there was trouble in paradise as the drummer spot changed. Casper was out and Andy’s childhood Chicago pal Mike Meadows was in. I played with Meadows in Shiny Beast; he was an incredible musician for sure. I wonder if he really whipped the band in shape by the sheer pushy force of his personality, cause “Erector Set” sure kicks all kind of ass, with not a trace of metal or even hard rock in sight. I am not sure you can find a more perfect little gem of the time then “Erector Set”. It still holds up.
Then eventually I got my chance to play with them for awhile. We had fun. These guys and girl sure didn’t write anything! Soon I left. Then Brian Quast stepped in.
As some of you know, Brian is the other drummer band slut in town. Name a good band, chances are he has played in it for at least a little while. The catchy and bizarre “Glider/Soul Taker” seven inch came out.
After a little while, the band gelled with Quast quite well. Shiny Beast toured with them during this period and they were peaking. “Close Up” came out. Great things afterwards were promised but soon personality quirks and Kevin’s decision to do adult things ended the band suddenly. The end.
So now they are reforming for the Merge Records blowout. Another local show in Raleigh at a later time is also in the works. I will post the date when I know it.
You should go, man. It will be good.
Posted by brian walsby at 5:32 PM