Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Hall Monitors

The Hall Monitors

The Hall Monitors
Unsigned

Nobody really knows where The Hall Monitors came from. They have their own legend drenched in booze, singing The Standells covers, NY Yankee fans, and a love child, but you'll have to check out their page to learn the legend. By description, they're a garage/R&B quartet from Washington D.C., better known for some punk rock icons, but not garage rock. The blues, maybe. If you had to live there, you'd be singing 'em, too. Believe it or not, these anonymously documented legends have shared the bill with some great acts, of whom I can't name since the only documentation of those appearances are from eyewitness accounts posted somewhere in their myspace comments. And from the album/CD cover, they're contributing to the delinquency of minors. Well, one at least. So they probably lay low and sneak beer to elementary school kids in D.C., which is probably acceptable by authorities given that there are many worse things going on in D.C. than a few kids chugging buds. However, I have their CD sampler from their upcoming full length debut, Girls. How did I get it? I saw them play. How else? Or maybe it was shoved under my door in a plain brown paper bag. Needless to say, I've got a copy. If this is the kind of rock 'n' roll you end up playing having to grow up in D.C, count me in.

The Hall Monitors play down home, no holds barred, howlin,' shake your butt, bluesy rock AND roll! No filler, no surf guitar, no British beat, no matching outfits, none of that. Sean Crowley sets the pace on "Give You All My Love" with his sweat soaked wail like a crazed preacher enough to make your women swoon, put their hands in the air, and start speaking in tongues. Matt Sullivan puts his sweet bass rhythm down on "Girls," with just a little bit of fuzz and a hell of a lot of groove right out of Strychnine while Ginger Richards (think lovechild of some people here) rocks out her strings, then Sean comes in shaking the tambourine with a rhythm that's like a rattler ready to strike, It's been a long time since anyone could think a song with lyrics like "I want a woman to understand me, I want a woman I can understand, I want her to by my girl, she'll want me to be her man" could mean real rock 'n roll. It sure feels good. "I Been Cryin" has Sean wailing his heart out so well that you know he's been crying. Mike Sullivan pounds out a ferocious 1-2 beat on "Be Your Man." These are just small examples and it gets too easy to describe what they're doing and it really doesn't do justice but it gives you some highlights of what they can do. The Hall Monitors are loud, no holds barred, girl left me, all night loud blues that religious leaders and uptight, god fearing moral authorities have warned the world about ever since rock 'n' roll was invented. The EP has six songs that fall around two and a half minutes each, so I'm assuming the full length will have around 12. They make their point, wail, scream, holler, beat, bare, and strum you into moving your feet, goddamn the consequences, in this life or the next. It feels good. Damn good. That's all that matters.

The Hall Monitors have a reputation for playing short, fast and loud sets and are gaining a following. An almost religious following, in fact. Look for their debut full length CD/LP Girls to come out soon. Since they are currently listed as being unsigned, your best bet is to use the links in this review to go to their myspace page for more info. You can also subscribe to their mailing list at http://www.hallmonitors.net. If you haven't heard of them yet, you're likely to hear them soon, and be converted in heart, mind, body and soul.

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