“Open up your mind. Open up your soul.”
So begins “Vader”, the opening track on Totimoshi’s third album, Monoli. Having enjoyed both of Totimoshi’s previous albums and the trio’s live show, I was both excited to hear the band had a new album coming out, and worried that they would not be able to maintain the energy level of their two previous albums. My fears were for naught. Monoli rocks.
Describing the band’s sound is like painting a train wreck in motion. I was all ready to rehash my Melvins and Sonic Youth comparisons, but as fast as I can write them, the band changes. While “Vader” could easily be a Melvins tribute, “The Pigs are Schemin” wraps itself around a heavily disguised rockabilly riff, while “Fancy Pants” reeks of Nirvana’s Bleach era and “You Know” reminded me of Beck. The only thing constant about Totimoshi is that they’re constantly changing — not only between albums and between songs, but throughout each song as well.
What makes Totimoshi so enjoyable is that you never know what’s coming next. The slow, bass-driven “Light Lay Frowning” kicks into a heavy ass “stop-and-go” chorus of guitars, only to be followed by a Latino-sounding solo. Unlike pop songs that you can sing along with the first time you hear them, Totimosho more resembles a haunted house. There are builds that go nowhere, riffs that pop out of the darkness, and that excitement you can feel in your heart of never quite knowing what lies around the next corner.
Everything about Monoli makes this the best of the band’s three albums. The band has obviously matured as musicans — the most noticable of which is Antonio Aguilar’s guitarwork and vocals. The band’s songwriting skills have improved as well. Totimoshi has mastered what always eluded the Melvins, a sense of continuity in their songs. The finishing touch on all this goodness is the near perfect production. The band manages to be remain thick without sounding muddy, a tough trick to pull off. The dynamics are captured beautifully here, especially in songs like “The Skies over Monolith Mountain”, where the grittiest guitar riff competes for aural space with a clean guitar attack.
Totimoshi is so fucking heavy they make me want to punch my mom in the face. They’re that good, I don’t know what else to say. Just like when Darth Vader killed Obi-Wan, I think Totimoshi has surpassed all the bands they refer to as influences. Now they are the master. It makes me cry to know people listen to Limp Bizkit instead of this.
Interesting. Evil. Heavy. Creative. Genius.
02. The Pigs are Schemin’
03. Fancy Pants
04. Light Lay Frowning
05. The Hero Released from Fright
06. Make Your Day
07. The Skies Over Monolith Mountain
09. You Know