According to Spotify, Monster Treasure has only 44 monthly listeners. That’s gotta be a typo, or glitch, or data breach, or whatever the right modern term is… All I can say is I’m happy to be #45. This Stockton, California, trio has been on repeat since I found out about their 2016 self-titled album (somewhat circuitously) by way of the UK label Leisure + District. It’s a potent sonic cocktail of punk, garage, pop, and shoegaze that manages to bounce between giddy and melancholy, rambunctious and introspective, without missing a beat. Have a listen and see if you don’t become the next monthly listener. Or better yet, plunk down a few bucks for the long-player in the Co-op Shop. You won’t regret it.
I spend the first part of every year going through my routine of researching music from the previous year that I’d somehow been sleeping on. 2017’s biggest wake-up so far has been Nothing Gives by London’s Slowcoaches. This blistering debut – which in my defense was released in early December – has all the right triggers if you’re nostalgic for ’90s bands like Babes in Toyland or L7: chunky hooks, start-stomp tempos, that indifferent sneer…
However, I haven’t been pining for that sound at all. So why was I so drawn in by “We’re So Heavy” when it showed up in the pole position on my Discover Weekly playlist? One superficial explanation could be the Anglophile appeal. Elastica plagiarized Wire almost note-for-note but somehow got a hall pass from me while I remember wandering off to find a snack during Babes in Toyland’s Lollapalooza set back in ’93.
The real answer – for me, at least – lies in the cloaked intimacy of singer/bassist Heather Perkins’ lyrics, which she slyly tucks between punches of fuzzed-out guitar and angsty anthemic choruses. There, Perkins cops to her anxieties, and their consequences, with a realness that is both exhilarating and heartbreaking. On “Raw Dealings” she sings, “I’ve been struggling with distance every time/You’re all out of time, you’re all out of time”. She’s indicting herself and setting herself free in the same breath. The album is full of these subtle moments that make their fierce outer trappings even more meaningful. Don’t sleep, even for a minute, on this lot.