Nineteen year old me would have hated Who Are The Monsters? But then nineteen year old me thought it was a good idea to surf on the roof of moving cars, go on a three day blackout drinking binge in New York City and get tattooed* somewhere in the middle of said binge when the art of tattooing was still (theoretically) illegal in the Big Apple, spend a couple of days riding rollercoasters in Canada’s Wonderland in the company of strippers while blind drunk on cheap vodka, to play (and lose) a game of real life “Frogger”** and to stage dive three stories off a motel roof because, well, yeah, you guessed it, nineteen year old me was drunk. Truth be told, nineteen year old me was a bit of a dick and was mostly the reason why I didn’t drink alcohol for five years.
And nineteen year me would also have been wrong about Who Are The Monsters? Not a traditional punk rock band, WATM? are a power trio who have more in common with Dinosaur Jnr, Mission of Burma, The Meat Puppets and nineties shoegaze bands like Bivouac than ninety nine point percent of their contemporaries in the Hardcore scene. Who Are The Monsters? are more about losing yourself in the moment musically and disappearing into the soundscape that their songs build in your imagination than slamming the night away in front of a tiny stage and screaming half-misheard lyrics into a microphone that’s shoved in your face by the singer of the third band on the bill on all night show.
Forty six year old me however, while he’s getting his third cup of coffee and answering an endless battery of emails on another Tuesday morning which was just like the Tuesday morning before it which in turn was just like the Tuesday morning before that Tuesday morning, likes nothing better than listening to Who Are The Monsters? who, through daring to be different and following their own distinct musical path, provide a brief respite from the monotony of existence. And sometimes, that brief sliver of hope and happiness is enough to convince you that life can still be beautiful… Tim Cundle
*I still don’t know exactly where, or when, in NYC I got the tattoo. Heck, I’m not even sure what it is. I think it’s a seahorse. But I could be wrong. I usually am.
**And just like the eternally optimistic frog, I got squished.
We Are Damned to Hell is released on July 5th. Find out more about it, and Who Are the Monsters?, here