November 24, 2017 Hobosexual – Monolith (Album Review)
Hobosexual, the name alone is enough to strike anyone’s curiosity. According to the Urban Dictionary, the term means someone who cares little about their appearance. Think the opposite of metrosexual. So there is that, but there is also the two piece band out of Seattle, Washington taking on the title.
Originally coming together back in 2009, in 2017, Hobosexual consists of Ben Harwood (guitars, vocals) and Jeff Silva (drums). Working hard to hone their skills as a band, even if the name Hobosexual is not terribly familiar, their songs very well may be. They were featured in the Marco Collins’ Documentary The Glamour & The Squalor directed by Marq Evans, which debuted at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival. Two tracks from their first album, “Boogieshuttle” and “Concrete Corporate,” were featured on Showtime’s Shameless. Also, music from Hobosexual II was featured during two of the Seattle Seahawks’ nationally televised games in the 2013 Super Bowl season.
Enter 2017, a new Hobosexual album is here! Entitled Monolith and released November 3rd through Kitchentable Records, listening to this album, it is hard to believe so much sound is coming from just two guys, or as their Facebook refers to them: “2 beards, 4 amps, and more raw talent than Jesus.” Consisting of 8 tracks, there are a few soundbites on Monolith, but virtually every sound is produced by Hardwood or Silvia.
Monolith is a concept album, but it does not feel forced. The concept is a trip back in time, from the old school analogue production, to the big arena Rock sound. Heck, even the album cover has an aged and worn look. Lyrically, Monolith centers heavily around Harwood and Silva’s personal aversion to contemporary internet-based outrage culture.
All that said, your first thoughts may be, “Wow, this is kinda crazy” or “This is really cool Electronic Rock.” Yes, it sounds very modern, but on second listen, the Classic Rock side shines through with brilliant simplicity. You know what? It is modern, a modern classic if you will!
Easing listeners into the album is “Trans Am Sunday,” a trippy and mellow song taking you back to the 1980s. There is no time to be lulled into submission of the past though as “Dimensional Beard” goes on a sonic carpet ride, taking what Jet did to Rock-n-Roll and amping it up even further. If a big Rock sound is what you crave, you cannot go wrong with the sonic frenzy of “Up the Down Walls.” For those who are fans of pop culture and grew up on 1980s movies/television…ladies and gentlemen, “VHS or Sharon Stone” is for you! A little mellower, and very vocal driven, it is a lyrical masterpiece. There are so many excellent references, plus it has an early Beck feel, but is less Electronic and more Rock. Call it what you will, it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Furthmore, Hobosexual’s vocal presentation also varies greatly on this album. “Cincinnati Juggernaut” features high-pitched, frantic lyrics, whereas “The Grey Mountain” is another story entirely. This journey, up or down, the mountain is via wonderfully melodic vocals. Underneath Hardwood’s voice are big ringing guitars, adding to the beautifully melodic sustain. Of course by song’s end, listeners are hit with, you guessed it, a sonic frenzy. At times the guitars sound like giant attacking insects, whose frantic cries are only held together by Silvia’s hard-driving beat!
Overall, Monolith is an album for Rock, Alternative, maybe even Electronic music fans. Something new, something old, but something different, this is without a doubt an album you are going to want to add to your collection. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Monolith 4 out of 5 stars.