Lost Shock: Vol. 1
Catalog #: SC26
Monoshock "Lost Shock" vol. 1
Some giants live and die wholly underground. They shake the earth and crack the surface from which the shape and aesthetic of the planet springs and flourishes but they never really see the clear light of day. Their dark plight witnessed by few and felt by many becomes legend and in time a ghost story. Monoshock. One of the great San Francisco-nay! West Coast-nay!! American-NAY!!! One of the best bands of the 1990s anywhere, PERIOD!!!
They fit undeniably in the book of San Francisco ‘originals’ right next to Jefferson Airplane and Crime. Whether because their recording quality was too fierce and fucked or because SF and the rest of the world wasn’t ready on a grand scale for rock and roll strictly made of sharp pointy things or because super scuzz/ super fucked blown out blood on the wall punk space rock shitstorms were born to die young and leave a bad looking corpse, Monoshock is a legendary ghost that still haunts those that were there to see it first hand and still rattles chains from the rafters of a more palatable and popular ‘psych rock’ and ‘pop psych’ movement that has found broader and in some instances, head scratching commercial appeal over the last 15 years.
I had heard about Monoshock many times over the course of the first two Comets on Fire releases. Friends and press asked if we were influenced by them but ironically I didn’t actually hear them until I found their double LP masterpiece “Walk To The Fire” in a basement record store in Cambridge MA in 2002, two COF records in. Somehow though, from the get-go, heard or unheard, they were an influence. They laid something down, tore something up and their blood was still on the wall. Dropping the needle on the first of four sides and gazing into that acid damaged hand illustrated album cover was as familiar and right on first listen as the first time you drop the needle on “Hard Days Night” and you feel like your soul has heard it for a thousand years.
There is a lowdown back alley punk spitfire that Monoshock does (is) so beautifully that is woefully vacant from most so-called psychedelic music. Monoshock makes most "psych" bands sound like a bunch of pussies anyway. Here’s where Hawkwind met the Electric Eels and moved in to a basement in the Tenderloin together. It’s bad acid and speed. It feels terrible and awesome in the biblical, poetic and ironic sense of the words. If this is the way popular psych (rock) had gone the world would be reeling from a decade and a half of sleep deprivation and thrill seeker's paranoia from brain damage instead of dancing to bent commercial pop laptop beats with glow sticks at Coachella. Monoshock remains subversive. It remains punishment AND reward. Radical psychedelic S&M for the mind. No disneyland bullshit.
Monoshock’s history is spelled out sporadically and unreliably on the internet, more reliably and officially on the “Runnin' Ape-like From The Backwards Superman” liner notes. I’ll just throw a few more scratches down in half-truth redundency to say that Monoshock formed in 1988 in Isla Vista, Ca. Their most concentrated period of public activity, gigs and release was 93-95 based out of San Francisco. 2008 regrouped for a minute. 2012 played in SF for the WTTF re-issue party. 2013 played a gig in Portland.
Sometime in 2013 I asked Grady if he had any subterranean artifact, bootleg or live thing Monoshock would like to do with Silver Current and he and the guys came back with this epic two disk set. A bootleg of a fantasy anthology of rarities, or perhaps it IS the anthology of rarities?!?! Maybe ‘Runnin' Ape-like’ is the anthology…uh…Here is a pretty fucked, monster collection of covers, outtakes, feedback, demos, dirge, agit-prop drone and high stakes rock and roll barnstorms anyway! It is joyfully difficult to provide the exact sub-nomenclature for this set but it is undeniably;
“LOST SHOCK, VOL 1 & 2!!!”
MONOSHOCK “LOST SHOCK VOLUME 1”
RECORDED 1994-1995, 19th STREET, OAKLAND, CA
1. An Interview w/ the Monoshock
2. You Must Be A Witch
3. Nobody Parts
4. Plain Strap Blues
5. Ice Gazelle
6. Pour Man
7. No Genies in my Bottle
8. City Kids
9. 19th St. Shuffle
10. Give Us Back Our Hands
GRADY RUNYAN – GUITAR, VOX
SCOTT DERR – BASS, VOX
RUBIN FIBERGLASS – DRUMS, VOX
Additional sounds by:
ALUMINUM QUEEN – TREATED SAX / TALK N’ PLAY
DOUG PEARSON – ELECTRONICS
ALL MATERIAL ORGANIZED, SEQUENCED, EDITED & ASSEMBLED BY SCOTT DERR
HOW TO GET IT
CDR, CASS, DIGITAL