Monofonus Press
  • Monofonus Press
The walls in my apartment building aren't wafer thin, but they aren't thick either. That can represent a challenge when you listen to music non-stop—especially the kind of stuff that works best at maximum volume—but I try to keep the noise down so as not to disturb my neighbors. They tend to show me the same respect, and I really appreciate it. It's one of the many reasons why I'll miss this place (the city plans to tear it down in the coming year).

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And that brings me to Austin band the Ghetto Ghouls, who count the Dicks and Scratch Acid among their influences. Your mileage may vary, but I wouldn't mind if the word "ghetto" quietly disappeared from view, since it's almost always used in a pejorative sense, and there's usually another term that would work better, like "low income," but the Low Income Ghouls doesn't quite have the same ring.*

* According to their label, "The name Ghetto Ghouls comes from a street gang that steals beer and beats up old ladies in the criminally underrated Vietnam-vet vigilante film The Exterminator."

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Once I got past that reservation, I listened to "Living Alone," and it hit me right—even if if I disagree that living alone is a fate worse than death—so I listened a few more times at different volume levels, and it always sounded loud (also, the more I listened, the more I heard early Spoon). That fabulous scream is still a fabulous scream and the guitar strings still sound like they're about to snap the fuck off. It's as if loudness was built into the thing, and not just something manipulated by the levels on a speaker or a computer mixer. Here's hoping the rest of their debut, which they recorded in four hours, is even half this good.

Monofonus Press‏ releases the Ghetto Ghouls' self-titled debut on April 8.