It’s a cliche that’s been sucked dry to the point of desertification: Bands “renowned for their frantic/chaotic/anarchic live shows” will inevitably “struggle to capture the frenzy/chaos/anarchy” of those shows on record. Monotonix are, apparently, prone to the odd cymbal-burning or stage dive, and banned from playing most of their native Israel’s music venues. To assess ‘Where Were You‚”‘ without having seen the band does prove tricky – the lack of hummable hooks can’t be disguised by “ke-razee” stage antics, yet the record has its own brand of warmth and charm. Pleasantly retro guitar riffs (think a more simplistic Led Zep) interact well with the taut drumming of Ran Shimoni, but singer Ami Shalev’s vocals, while fittingly zany, don’t grab the listener as they might in – you guessed it – a live setting.

By Matthias Scherer

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