The Absolute Monarchs
The Pacific Northwest has maintained a well-earned reputation as the epicenter of the rock and indie rock scene since the grunge explosion of the ’90s. So, it makes sense that the tastemakers of the world are again looking to Seattle and Portland to find the newest musical revolution being fomented by men and women flaunting their distorted guitars, battered drum kits, and shredded vocal chords. One band that’s leading the charge is a quartet with a name as unrelenting and powerful as their music: Absolute Monarchs Inspired by the raw, meaty sound of indie stalwarts like the Jesus Lizard, Drive Like Jehu, and The Monorchid, the Monarchs have been cutting a wide swathe through the cluttered music scene of their hometown ever since their first show two years ago at the Capitol Hill Block Party. That opening salvo was a warning shot across the bow of the folksy, rustic approach that far too many Seattle groups have been approximating to critical and commercial acclaim. The quartet – Joel Schneider (vocals/bass/keyboards), Shawn Kock (guitars), Miki Sodos (guitars), and Mike Stubz (drums) – pumps out lean, sinewy blasts of detuned guitars, neck snapping drums, and impassioned vocals that feels like electric shocks to the coccyx. In the two years since they dazzled a Block Party audience, the Absolute Monarchs have logged time on stage opening for Red Fang, Les Savy Fav, and Cold Cave. Now that they’ve captured the attention of Seattle music fans, the Monarchs are ready to spread their hard-charging gospel far and wide.