Friday, March 8, 2013

Monrovia - News EP (self-released, 2012)

Even though I didn't know what the hell to call 'em at the time (2011), I chose Monrovia's "Exit Stage Right" as the #2 song (just behind Uglyography's wonderfully quirky "My Brain") on my Best Music From Greater Norfolk list -- an awards ceremony without actual documentation. After a single screening of the YouTube video that'd been forwarded by a friend in the know, I bestowed a "Pop God" tag upon main man Jon Schilling. Many releases from Frank Black and The Figgs occupy a certain section of my Yoo- hoo container, and "Exit Stage Right" would dignify every single plastic disc from those F-ers. The cut's resolution is to "throw everybody straight into jail," which is where bands with by-the-numbers beats belong.

"Rational Trash," the treasure-laden second single, deposits a skateboard-riding, cheerful bear who uses the long neck of a dinosaur as an effective take-off ramp in the animated short. "Somebody told me that empty space is a money-making machine" appears at odds with the many vacant Rite-Aid buildings in Tidewater, but a dedicated area for Teddy Ruxpin to pull off McTwists would reap an increased quality-of-life currency.

Those who don't know history will unknowingly repeat it. The twitchy "Atlas Shrugged" covers both sides of the faded coin ("Creation wasn't born when your ancestors pushed you out the door/Keep crackin' open bottles so your wisdom ends up passed out on the floor").

"I've got 500 channels..." pitches the cable package on "Stand Up." You can keep your Kim Kardashian and Call Of Duty franchise (the Nickelback of video games?). I'll embrace Sarah Purcell and Activision cartridges. Take a hike, technology.

Oh, Monrovia took top honors in a category from 2012: Best Band Named For A City Named For A U.S. President. If there were a real trophy, I'd get former WAVY-TV 10 reporter Mary Kay Mallonee to present it.

-Gunther 8544

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