Monorchid


Monorchid was a punk rock band founded in Washington DC in 1995. Their fresh take on the dormant DC punk sound was a shot in the arm that DC really needed. At the time the punk scene that had thrived in DC in the eighties and early nineties had become relatively stagnant. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like Monorchid was the only band making an effort at the time but most of the music to come from DC was from established acts that had already established themselves. There was little in the way of promising new acts keeping things fresh, no starving up-and-comers, at least until Monorchid came along. In it’s relatively short life span Monorchid managed to revive the DC scene and get it’s blood flowing again.

Monorchid had five members, Chris Thomson, Chris Hamley, Andy Cone, Andy Coronado and Tom Allnut. None of these guys were new to the punk rock scene with each having left a trail of previous bands behind them. And for that fact alone I wouldn’t have thought much of Monorchid. Usually with this type of stuff a person’s first band is their most original and they kind of dilute themselves over time. I’ve seen it time and time again, a great band breaks up and it’s members split to make a bunch of mediocre half-cocked attempts, there are exceptions but just as a generalization I’ve found this to be true. Whatever the reason, perhaps providence, Monorchid’s members jelled under it’s umbrella. They were like Voltron with the five of them becoming greater then the sum of their parts. For that matter Monorchid became the most substantial project for any of them to become involved in.

Monorchid’s music is fast and chaotic. There’s a little bit of everything in there, traditional rock, punk rock, pop punk, hardcore, it’s an amalgamation of the rock styles with the biggest lean towards punk rock. Chris Thomson’s vocal style is hard to describe, he sings with a lackadaisical sneer. It’s like he doesn’t care and he’s angry about it. Whatever it is his vocals were perfect and complimented the music flawlessly. Monorchid disappeared almost as fast as it fired up the DC punk scene. Three years was all it took for Monorchid to complete it’s life cycle. They were busy bees though and managed to crank out a handful seven inch singles and two full length albums. So far I haven’t heard any Monorchid material I haven’t liked. Both of their LP’s are superb. The first one is getting a little tricky to find although I see it’s available on the used market for a meager $4 at the time of this writing.

1) Let Them Eat… [1997]
2) Who Put Out The Fire? [1998]

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