October 31, 2009, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Album Reviews | Tags:


Body Language
Drag City

Good Punk occurs almost always as a product of its environment, the toxic by-product of a self-seeking society engorged with the sugary seductions of the money culture. Hatred, creative repression, boredom, mindless leaders, unquestioning conformity, this is the stuff that Punk is made of.

Consider then how punk may sound if birthed from within Israel’s ravaged and chaotic heartland. What do they have to rebel against? Well, as they say, What ya got? As we’re talking climates of change here then cop Tel Aviv for a precursor to cultural upheaval.

Right now young people in Israel are drowning, brutalised by a far-right wing oligarchy that enforces choking theocratic censorship and compulsory military service. The majority of the population writhe in wretched conditions of poverty in the shadow of a perpetual American Military presence. And all the while biblical wars rage eternally above them and amongst them.

Out of this horror-show, we were hoping for something akin to a completely new strain of punk to emerge, one so untouched by western tendencies to refine and domesticate. So completely enraged and liberating that we are duly taught a few old lessons about how it ought to be.

But imagine our disappointment that one of the very few bands deemed worthy to carry Israel’s punk message internationally are such a watery, toothless affair. Body Language is seldomly the sound of the dissent and only sparingly on this 6 track EP is there evidence of a true intent to provoke.

Riff heavy and with little personalityof it’s own, beardy classic rock fanfare deflates any semblance of ferality or immediacy. The sound is woolly, non-descript and conventional, with no attempt made to recontextualize their North American modus operandi, almost at the risk of becoming triumphanalist. It could be the sound of Rural Switzerland for all its intensity and danger. Is there a patch of this world where the need to question the norm is as vital as in the Middle East? Monotonix aren’t that lightning rod, but maybe fantasy and escapism are more comforting pursuits when you’re living in such hopeless circumstances.

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