Monomen | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Mono Man Dave Crider recently characterized his band this way: "You're not going to see any of us changing the face of music. Someone else can be in charge of that." What with about five million bands in the U.S., all earnestly trying to capture their generation's zeitgeist and come up with the Next Cool Sound, all providing grist for the mills of rock critics who discourse ad nauseam about the "significance" of their porous lyrical musings, it's certainly refreshing to encounter the Monomen. They hark back to a less pretentious era, when rock and roll wasn't a religion but an uncouth expression of release, not to mention--get this--fun. Crider (guitar, vocals), Ledge Morrisette (bass), Aaron Roder (drums), and John Mortensen (guitar, vocals) disdain the ironic detachment of today's indie heroes and instead look for inspiration from the garage delinquents of the 60s: the Sonics and the Standells. Like their icons, the Monomen play with all the freewheeling aggression of an old-time rumble, attacking their songs rather than shambling through them. Of course, if they were nothing but revivalists the Monomen wouldn't be any more noteworthy than a Led Zeppelin tribute band, but these guys use the past to mix up a sweaty snootful of something very much their own. Sure they're grimy, beer-sodden, and politically incorrect, but at least they lay it on the line when they play. Friday, 10:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 276-3600.

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