The woolly, sweat-slicked men in Tel Aviv’s Monotonix spit beer and dump the trash can on the floor. Drummer Haggai Fershtman sets up his kit on the bar, and singer Ami Shalev swings from the rafters and ends the show crowd-surfing on top of the bass drum.
In other words, the only thing that might suck worse than cleaning up after Monotonix is performing after Monotonix.
The newly rechristened duo Solid Gold Eagle, playing their final show under the name Fuck City USA, must’ve drawn the short straw. They take the stage (the one place Monotonix doesn’t play) and finish setup and sound check before their predecessors have finished packing up equipment.
After a grating feedback burst, guitarist and lead shrieker Chris Martinez addresses the band’s name change. “We do have a name,” Martinez assures us, “and it’s — “ He grins and cuts himself off with a sharp guitar squeal.
The rest of SGE/FCU’s set proceeds accordingly, a series of squall-soaked anti-jokes to which the only punch line is tinnitus. Martinez shreds and scratches his guitar, stomping effects pedals and looping grating squawks and teeth-piercing static scrapes. He solos six-string seizures over the discordant layers and yelps god knows what into what has to be a dead mic. Making himself heard over his own axe hacks would probably involve industrial-grade explosives, so you kind of hope he’s a shitty lyricist.
Drummer Patrick Schowe’s primitive pounding (sort of) provides a rough skeletal structure that’s almost always broken down and abandoned before Martinez’s convulsive mini-riffs conform to it. This is probably what AC/DC sounds like to your grandparents.
Martinez hops onto the floor and struts in moccasined feet across the length of the stage in a duck walk/two-step hybrid that nearly suggests he’s been taking frontman dance lessons. His solo sounds like Chuck Berry picking with a rusty coffin nail.
“We’d like to thank Monotonix for warming up the stage for us,” Martinez says over the violent death throes of the set’s final notes. The 20 or so people who haven’t left to wash the beer out of their hair cheer, though they might have just been excited they could still hear.