Just as it was one of the most fertile and vibrant scenes in ’80s post-punk and college rock, Minneapolis has once again come into the spotlight as a source of reliably awesome indie rock. Bands like Tapes `n Tapes and The Plastic Constellations, two of the current scene’s brightest talents, have been receiving their share of attention of late, while Minneapolis ex-pats The Hold Steady are well on their way to becoming the greatest living rock band, not just indie. And though none of these bands sound alike, really, they do share something in common—they all have a penchant for playing solid, accessible rock music, no matter how classic or unconventional. Another band to add to this list of Minnesota’s finest is Shotgun Monday, a band with a decidedly more post-hardcore slant, yet exhibiting a strong urge to rock out, old-school style.
Formed in the wake of Amphetamine Reptile band Calvin Krime, Shotgun Monday is the vehicle for that band’s Jon Kelson, yelping wildly through nine tracks of rough-edged, abrasive post-hardcore on their debut Read Compare Adjust. Though Amphetamine Reptile records may just be a memory at this juncture, the legacy lives on through the warped melodies of Shotgun Monday.
From the opening jugular slashing shards of guitar in “Resting Vessel,” one is immediately reminded of mid-90s noisemakers like The Archers of Loaf and Tanner, not to mention a little band from D.C. called Fugazi. “Ghostwalk” is somewhat more straightforward in its rhythms, almost Minutemen-like in its urgency, yet more melodically complex. Kelson shouts “We are your savior,” and though it’s difficult to tell in what context he means, he could very well be speaking to fans of a dying breed of coarse punk such as this.
“Joli Rouge” stomps slowly, while strings chime and scrape on top of the trudging beat, offering a slower, yet no less unsettling clamor. And the fabulously titled “Time for a Sandwich” is driven by dreamy mellotron, offering a melodic reprieve from the scattered shrapnel of fingernails-on-a-chalkboard guitar. There aren’t many moments like this on Read Compare Adjust, so when they come along, it’s best to gather up some energy, and perhaps have a sandwich, before the next pummeling comes along.
Fugazi – In on the Killtaker
Calvin Krime – You’re Feeling So Attractive
Tanner – (Germo)phobic
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.