Metz Blow The Casbah’s Walls Down on 12/13

IMG_0349 IMG_0350 IMG_0351 IMG_0352The Casbah has come close many times to having its walls blown down by unforgivingly loud rock music but never as close to it as when Metz plays. Quite arguably one of the loudest bands on the planet, Metz did not disappoint their fans with Wednesday night’s explosive performance.

The three piece from Toronto played unpretentiously with no flare and no gimmicks, just pure unadulterated rock. Distorted, loud and energetic rock. They don’t change instruments or tune mid-set, nor do they talk between songs (except to call out the typical Casbah meathead for being a douche.) They just play distorted, loud and energetic rock. And they do it well.

Guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins’ energetic leadership on stage backed by drummer Hayden Menzies thundering beats and bassist Chris Slorach’s heavily distorted bass make for an intense head-banging experience. This most recent Casbah setlist consisted of songs spanning their entire three-album catalog from the first self-titled effort to their latest release, “Strange Peace,” and including the B-side single “Eraser,” which is no exception to their repertoire of neck-breaking heavy hitters.

With the aforementioned three albums under their belts, Metz shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. They are a hard-working, constantly touring band who unfortunately do not make it out to San Diego as often as their local fans would like so catch them while you can when they come around because they are absolutely worth the time and the ear bleeds.

All Photos By Jennifer Morgan.

Alex Bloom – One More Shot

Going on a teeny tiny bit of information, I don’t have many details to relate to you. But I will say this…
Once in a while a song drifts by you and you could just listen to it all day. You sort of wish you had written it. But you are happy it exists regardless of penmanship credits. I dig this song. Thank you Alex Bloom. You done Good!

Full album out on December 8th

The Blue Room album release show will be at Hotel Cafe on Wednesday, Dec 6.

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Last Chance to “Go See It” – Father John Misty – Oct. 5 – The Observatory North Park

There are still tickets available to go see Father John Misty this Thursday night at the The Observatory North Park. We highly recommend seizing the opportunity. The Friday night show at The Observatory is sold out and tickets are going fast for Thursday.  This is a great venue to see one of the most talked about live shows of the year. 

When Father John Misty kicked off his international tour in support of his astute new album, Pure Comedy, Monofesto offered the Top 5 reasons the FJM live show is a must see experience. All these reasons hold true, but we became strikingly aware that we missed one huge element: THE INCREDIBLE BACKING BAND. The shows have been complete with deep horn and string sections bringing the rich orchestrations from the past two albums to life. Check out this recent live stream below to see just how BIG these reflective folk rock genre bending ballads can sound with the current stage line-up:


Ground Patrol’s DRIFT

Art As Catharsis are proud to announce the first single from DRIFT, the debut album from the New York / Sydney duo Ground Patrol.

How to explain the sound of Ground Patrol?

With just two members, this group has managed to take the trance-like repetition of Dawn Of Midi and the spatial-sonic exploration of The Necks to new levels.

Their debut album consists of four improvised pieces, each beginning with a short musical theme which loops upon itself, but never perfectly. These unbalanced or slightly out of phase loops work with and against one another, generating a kinetic charge that brings the theme to life. The theme begins to transform, surging forward with ever-more energy, and morphing into unexpected new forms with all the random beauty of organic evolution. Within a piece their sound might shift rapidly from raw and heavy blocks of sound to subdued, trance-like polyrhythmic meditations.

Like Battles on a heroic dose of LSD, Ground Patrol transforms what would be inert musical cells into an ever-blooming fractal. Their process is a deliberate reaction against music that is overly mathematical, careful, or precious. The duo eschew order for flow, embracing chance and randomness with an approach that relies on the dialogue and spontaneity of live performance, and is rooted in the physicality and response of their instruments.

This trans-continental duo is comprised of New York-based guitarist Kyle Sanna and Sydney-based drummer Alon Ilsar. Kyle is deeply immersed in New York’s improvised music scene, and has performed with virtuosos like Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile, and in venues like Bach House in Eisenach, the Sultan of Oman’s Royal Opera House, and Carnegie Hall.

Alon Ilsar has been a member of a multiple, vital Australian experimental acts, including the experimental pop group Gauche, avant-garde metal band Darth Vegas, and electronic future-jazz trio The Sticks. More recently, he has collaborated with the Neshamah Dance Company and Trevor Dunn.

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Metz Release “Strange Peace”

IMG_0347“Strange Peace” is the third full-length release by Canadian noise rockers Metz, an album which is as much classic Metz as it is a progressive dive into new and uncharted musical waters for the band.

The new album opens with the heavy-hitting “Mess of Wires” which leaves listeners with precious little time to take a decent breath before the sonic explosion begins. “Strange Peace” is riddled with the fast-paced heavy hitters we’ve come to expect from the band, though several are others are slightly less typical. Songs such as “Cellophane”, and “Dig a Hole” are a bit more melodic and, dare I say, poppy with vocals seemingly channeling Jello Biafra. Other songs like “Sink” are a dramatic change from what we are used to hearing from the trio as it is much more slow-paced and quiet with the chiming harmonics of the bass guitar being the predominate riff. Very Sonic Youth and very cool.

Nirvana and the Pixies come to mind at times throughout the album, which is not surprising since, like Metz with “Strange Peace,” both bands have at one time been recorded by the one and only Steve Albini who carries such claims to fame as “In Utero” and “Surfer Rosa.”

The final track, “Raw Materials” is the album’s magnum opus clocking in at almost six minutes long (close to twice the length of the average Metz song.) The track is multi-tiered with many sonic ups and downs proving the band has progressed enormously since their 2012 debut.

Strange Peace will appease both the worst of rock critics and the best of Metz fans as it is an extraordinary effort from a band who remains in its own unique musical realm.

Metz – Cellophane. New Video. New Album

Toronto’s Metz is finally releasing their new album “Strange Peace” on September 22. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Steve Albini is at the helm recording this one. It’s gonna be good! In the meantime, get your “twilight zone” on with their trippy new video. I believe it might be near impossible to not draw comparisons to raw early Nirvana. But of course that isn’t a bad thing at all. Enjoy!

Monofesto’s San Diego Spotlight: Redwoods’ Birdy Bardot Shakes it Up Again

The latest offering from The Redwoods Music, Birdy Bardot II, has San Diego buzzing once again. Monofesto seized upon the opportunity of the new release to team up with local photographer Kristy Walker to cover the record release party show at the Casbah last month.  In addition to an album review, we were also able to interview Birdy bandmates Matt Molarius and Daniel Schraer. Check out all parts of this special “San Diego Spotlight” feature below, and be sure to check out the Redwoods Swapmeet & Greet this Sunday 7/30 at Allegory and the next Redwoods Review on August 6th at Coronado’s Bay Resort.

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Show Review: Birdy Bardot Record Release Party – Casbah – 6/23/17

A thrilling intensity filled the Casbah when Birdy Bardot and band took to the stage last month and unleashed their new material during the record release party for Birdy Bardot II. It was a festive night for the Redwoods and the SoCal music scene, as Birdy was supported by the revival of San Diego favorites The Heavy Guilt, Los Angeles indie rockers The Dead Ships, and label mates Dani Bell and the Tarantist.  Everyone was in high spirits and the band was anxious to celebrate their efforts and share the results with the Casbah crowd, who were primed to graciously receive. As mentioned, Monofesto was lucky to team up with local photographer Kristy Walker who not only shared her knack for capturing the fabulous ladies of the Redwoods and especially Birdy’s increasingly dynamic stage presence but also chronicled the frenetic flow of the night perfectly (check out Walker’s photo slideshow of the night below). 


There was no doubt that even in this talent rich evening, the star of the night was Birdy herself. From start to finish, she demanded that every eye in the house was fixed on center stage. Early in the set, when she ripped into the new album’s featured single “Fortune”, it felt like an arrival for Ms. Bardot, rising to a new echelon as a performer. Consistently animated since her days fronting San Diego’s New Kinetics and The Rosalyns, Birdy was now in complete control of the stage and crowd, matching her ferociously beautiful roars with sudden bursts of bodily force.  

The band was happy to pick up on her momentum and bring their own personalized heightened antics to the performance. Oft-touted as a San Diego all-star line-up, each section proved worthy of the billing. Dillon Casey and Matt Molarius  (guitars) ripped powerfully but more impressively filled every sonic space with tight fills, evenly balanced and partnered. Jake Najor on the drums was resoundingly awe-inspiring in his exacting perfection, and Jason Littlefield was equal to demonstrating his tight professionalism on bass. Daniel Schraer  (keys) was fluid and nuanced in his accompaniment. Of course, Alfred Howard held it all together neatly with his bag of rhythmical tricks (his theremin-inspired manipulation of radio static on his old boombox a particular treat to behold) and limitless passion, seemingly picking up and channeling every rhythmic turn and beat through him simultaneously.  

Birdy had the material from the new album noticeably surging, but she also brought a new welcomed edge to the self-titled freshman album cuts. The crowd was animated throughout, including a captivated crew of young San Diego men lining the front of the stage. Whether looking for a footing to climb the precariously tight Casbah sound rigging or whipping her head back to assault the looming ceiling, Birdy brought infectious life to every word and note. The night capping encore opened with a patient but building rendition of “Right Back” (Bardot II’s closing track) that highlighted Schraer’s moving ability to float Birdy’s vocals out over the heads of the crowd and into the night. They then returned to the first album to close the night with fire. 

Ensuring that the high intensity never faltered was Redwoods ringleader and local legend in the making, Howard. Howard was especially demonstrative this evening in his percussive and explorative sound display,  keeping the Birdy set pumping. Impressive considering his workload for the evening. By the time he took the stage with Birdy he was already on his 4th set of the night, as he not only opened the night bringing his longtime project The Heavy Guilt back to the scene but also bolting from main stage to the back Casbah lounge stage to fill every possible space with raucous rhythms with two Dani Bell and the Tarantist masked-sets between main stage sets. 

Dani Bell and the Tarantist: photo by Kristy Walker

Dani Bell and the Tarantist: photo by Kristy Walker

Dani Bell played their role beautifully, supporting their label mate by keeping the night fresh and alive at every turn. They turned on the spectacle and magic with the flip of a switch like the seasoned and confident act they have worked to become over the past years. The stage connection between Bell and Howard is inescapable and somewhat enigmatic but nevertheless seamless at this point.  

Eric Canoza and Howard of The Heavy Guilt

Eric Canoza and Howard of The Heavy Guilt: photo by Kristy Walker

The Heavy Guilt opened the night with obvious excitement to be performing together and to be presenting new material. Eric Canoza and Howard are joined with a fresh and talented new line-up; Austin Burns (guitar) Aaron Hook (bass), and Peter Williams (drums). Canoza’s voice continues to melt wonderfully into the screaming wall of sound, creating an uplifting urgency. It was great to see the addition of Burns, fully showcasing his instrumental skills this time around, as North County San Diego has long enjoyed his vocal talents with the likes of Second Cousins

Austin Burns : photo by Kristy Walker

Austin Burns : photo by Kristy Walker

Additionally, the Dead Ships definitely gave the night a boost with their poppy reverb laden grooves delivered with metal fierceness. The professional commitment to their sound and performance was evident, making them a fun band to experience in San Diego as they continue to play and spread their name along the West Coast.

The Dead Ships: photo by Kristy Walker

The Dead Ships: photo by Kristy Walker

One last striking thing about the evening was the civility effectively balanced with the raging power and emotion of the music and gathering.  Part of Birdy Bardot and the Redwood’s appeal is undoubtably the talent housed in such a polite, gracious, and approachable group of musicians and the lovely, well-intentioned people they attract around them.