The Monsters – You’re Class I’m Trash: Album Review

The Monsters are Trashcore Rock’n’Roll obsessives from Switzerland, who proudly describe themselves as cheap suits and chainsaw guitar mayhem.

To be precise, they are Art Terrorists. A vortex of Psychobilly, mutant Blues, Sixties Garage Punk with bits of Metal and bone flying everywhere in deconstructionist performance mode.

Their origins lie with Beat-Man Zeller. His band took shape in 1986 as a specially curated project to foster the sounds of edgy and nasty Rock’n’Roll. Inspired by the Cramps but mining deeper influences on the fringe. Alex Chilton, Mud Boy and the Neutrons, Panther Burns and all manner of Swamp Blues Crazies and mean Hill Billy Country Blues. You got a purty mouth, heh heh.

Beat-Man spreads himself over different projects including a one-man band. Founded the label Voodoo Rhythm Records where other like-minded acts also slither out from. With him are Janosh bass, Di Putto drums, Swan Lee drums (yes, there are two) and Pumi on gadgets and sound effects. The Man himself writes, attacks the guitar and shreds his vocal cords.

The Monsters

They have preserved their original style intact. An important point is that they all work in various professional occupations. They look like it on stage, attired in suits and ties. The music is a pursuit of their Art without commercial concessions. They also guarantee to wreck any party they’re invited to.

Gimme Germs. Surf guitar riffs slammed out at speed. I want Germs! I take that as a shout-out to early Los Angeles Hardcore Punk band the Germs. Whose leader Darby Crash followed through and committed suicide, which led Arch Music Critic Robert Christgau to unkindly comment more valuable dead than alive.

That makes it clear which territory we are in. Sensitivities are going to be trampled on.

Smell My Tongue. Monolithic rhythm riffs trying to outpace Johnny Ramone. Throat ravaging vocals which typically lock into a short phrase and shake it to death like a pit-bull.

 Car Pool Lane. Begins with some conventional Rock guitar licks but quickly evolves (or devolves) into a sonic Rocker Reducer wave of dissonant texture. They take it to the MC5 abyss of molten Rock’n’Roll. It finishes with a soothing acoustic guitar and the singers post-orgasmic croak of car pool lane.

Dead is instrumental variations of Punk Metal or Nu-Punk. It is reprised as Dead (Mortem Batkovic). This is Bosnian composer of film and gaming video scores Mario Batkovic. Cathedral organ playing Baroque tones. Revealing some Prog roots. Tortured and anguished screams turn into ritualistic chants. A Gothic horror comes into vision. A Dario Argento movie and the style of soundtrack that Goblin used to provide.

Yellow Snow Drink. A tap on the shoulder of Frank Zappa and Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow. Beat-Man has a good tenor voice when he’s not shredding. A swinging Country Rockabilly number as you hear I’m going to kill myself. Tasty Blues guitar licks. The corny singing heads to mutant Doo-Wop territory. This was also a passion of Zappa’s.

My Down is Your Up. Vomits the lyrics whilst the Surf guitar tries to impose some structure.

I Love You. Very basic and all sound meshes into a barrage. But there are some change-ups. Remember Metal Machine Music? You won’t. Lou Reed’s fuck-you album to his record label which came back as an influence on industrial Metal and revived by German band Die Krupps five years ago.

Electro Bike Asshole. You know what you have trapped yourself into by now. Hardcore holler of early Black Flag. The guitar thrash is Link Wray going through hyper-drive.

Ranting about some Devil Baby as the music comes to the boil and spills over into feedback. The sound of a relentless carpet- bombing.

This group is retching up a demon from over a hundred years ago. The Dada movement first broke in Zurich in 1915, with Hugo Ball. This was in response to the First World War. The horror degradation and appalling slaughter that it descended into after eight months. The frontline did not change for almost four years before they called an armistice. The psyche recoiled at what was revealed inside the darkness of human nature. Dada means shit.

This resurfaced with the Situationists of 1968, and then with the rise of Punk in 1976. We are the flowers in your dustbin sang Johnny Rotten. The World circles around again. The Pistols also recorded a song called Belsen Was a Gas. It would fit on this album.

The title track, You’re Class, I’m Trash. Sixties Garage Punk and worked around the chords of the Strangeloves Night Time. On the album cover, the first two words are in tiny print.

They’re not reviving anything. They’ve been doing this for a long time to some Underground recognition but they could use more for sure. One place where the Filth and the Fury still resides.

Rev Orange Peel

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