This one goes out to the one I love, the one I’ve left behind. Everyone get in line, then leave the hall. Today we’re taking a field trip, a pilgrimage back in time to grounds hallowed in the name of the religion I thought I’d lost: Rock ‘n fucking roll, the Great Old Riffy One which cannot die yet has for strange eons lain sleeping and dormant. I’m not here to bash on modern ‘rock’ bands, such talk would only hinder this review, and even if I waited the three days grace period I wouldn’t get so much as a nickel back for putting in my own two cents. No, we’re not gonna talk about that kind of rock. Instead, let’s go home again, to a world of bitchin’ guitars and VHS tapes. Everybody get on the bus, and be sure to say hello to our drivers, Hobosexual. They’ll be taking us where we wanna go by way of their third album, the future-fearing Monolith.

To fully appreciate where we’re going, we must understand a few things about Hobosexual. Firstly, they’re not metal, and that isn’t going to kill you. I might though, if you opt to miss out on this slab of goodness based on that detail alone, but let’s try to avoid all that. Secondly, that name. According to the band’s Facebook page, ‘Hobosexual was adopted by Ben and Jeff as a tongue in cheek dictatorial spin on affiliation as antiquated preference, the original and CORRECT GREEK root (a la not disgusting) meaning of the compound word “Hobo-Sexual” being: “One who cares little for their own personal appearance.”’ The Photometers will agree, and that’s just fine. Ben Harwood (guitars, vocals) and Jeff Silva (drums) have been rallying against today’s ADD plagued ego-stroke culture under the Hobosexual moniker since 2009, Monolith being the third installment in the band’s ongoing conceptual rendering of the great cold death of trve true art and individualism, and let me tell you: this thing fucking rocks.

Through a truly wondrous combination of lyrics and riffs, Monolith tells the story of an individual being driven crazy by various elements of modern culture. Continuing where 2013’s Hobosexual II left off, the album wakes up and goes for a drive with “Trans Am Sunday,” kicking things off right with anthemic guitars and musings on the Trans Am in question, which apparently is known for ‘Unprotected sex for days/ and illegal fireworks’. By contrast, the music itself is serious as hell, maintaining a loose but fervent, desperate atmosphere of longing for better times. My interest was piqued by this point, and I found my faith restoring itself along with every successive track as the Hobos lead me through this Jet-meets-Guns N Roses world of theirs. Whether it’s the balls-out “Up the Down Walls” or the laid back burn-cruiser “VHS or Sharon Stone”, Monolith is always identifiable as a kickass rock album, without an apology or identity crisis to be had. I defy anyone to explore “The Grey Mountain” and report back unsatisfied.

Perhaps my favorite part of this Delorean ride is that it’s taken solely with Ben and Jeff, or as their Facebook bills them: ‘2 beards, 4 amps, and more raw talent than Jesus.’ Aside from the occasional soundbite used to keep the story moving, every sound on this album is actually produced by one of two humans playing an instrument, rather than programmed and drowned in a lacquer of digital effects and polish. Whether it’s Ben’s vocal ventures into Axl Rose/Dr. Rockzo territory on “Cincinnati Juggernaut,” the utter badassery of the title track, or literally any given example of Jeff’s drumming throughout, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the sheer strength of these two dudes’ performance throughout the entire album. The rocking ways of old may not be everybody’s thing these days, but Hobosexual have created a pretty great-sounding and convincing argument for change.

I, for one, welcome our new, deviant homeless overlords. Only Jens Kidman and AMG Himself were born predisposed to enjoy metal, the rest of us got here by way of rock ‘n roll, and I admire this sonic slap to the face of Thomas Wolfe. Between the sound and the concept, Hobosexual have created something truly monolithic indeed, a genuine work of art on a level we’ve been wandering away from for far too long. Monolith is more than just a simple prop to occupy one’s time. If this grand Trans Am-O-Rama is what you call rock, then rock is not dead.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Kitchenable Records
Websites: hobosexualmusic.bandcamp.com | hobosexualband.com | facebook.com/hobomusic
Releases Worldwide: November 3rd, 2017

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  • HeavyMetalHamster
  • This ain’t bad. I miss those Trans-Am Sundays.

  • SoLeftISeeRight

    You just keep that cabbage comin’ daddy-o!

  • GoudhaBuddha

    This is good enough for me to not care about the ridicule my friends will surely give me for listening to a band called Hobosexual

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Nice review your!

    • I leave out the yo’s for once and y’all bring em anyway, I like it.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Better than me bringing the dicks back.

  • Eli Valcik

    “They call it a soup kitchen”

    • Metrognome26

      I fuckin’ love Dirty Mike & The Boys!

      • Eli Valcik

        “WE WILL HAVE SEX IN YOUR CAR!”

        • Metrognome26

          Pardon all the bulldog fur…

  • Shrümpelstiltskin

    Listened to the embedded track. This is good stuff. The singer’s voice reminds me of Stephen Brodsky. When this record eventually winds up on Spotify, I’ll listen to the whole thing for sure.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    Still doesn’t top Goat Penis.

  • Frost15

    I would pay to see the reaction of your grandma turning on the radio and hearing “…and now, by courtesy of Kitchenable Records we have Hobosexual’s new single, trans am sunday!!” rofl Guess she’d be like: “fuck my life… and I thought ‘talk dirty to me’ was deviant enough…”

  • Mark Z

    Damn great review. I need to check these guys out.

    • I was pleasantly surprised, myself. My interest was beckoned by the name, coaxed into further exploration by their website, then forcibly abducted by their Bandcamp merch. I fell in love with them before hearing so much as a single note, I’m so glad that the music turned out to be just as cool as the dudes in the band.

  • lennymccall

    I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard so far. Glad to hear it gets such a great review. Gonna have to pick this one up.

    • I highly recommend perusing their Bandcamp merch options as well. Even if the prices are daunting – they’re doing everything themselves, not with big bucks behind them – discovering their wares has done wonderful things for my views on humanity.

      • Strapping Old Fart

        Word.

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    What an album. m/

  • Fantastic stuff and I was all set to say how this was just another retro act with zero character (which all the others are). This is so much better and so much more than that. I can’t wait to here the rest. In the second half of the title track the vocals sound a lot like Pil & Bue, which is a good thing.

  • Nukenado

    Jesus, Drew!
    You’re like an anti-GardensTale!
    Another 4.0, and somehow well deserved!

    Also, those fucking references…
    I don’t know if I’ll lose cred for catching all of them.

    • Nukenado

      Except for the Agalloch reference.
      I wonder where that came from.

      • Also, there are two Agalloch references, because Agalloch.

        • Nukenado

          I gave the “Great Cold Death” the benefit of the doubt.

          • It’s typically a safe bet that I’m referencing something or other at any given time. Christ, that opening paragraph alone guest stars the aforeunmentioned bands, Agalloch, REM and H.P. Lovecraft.

          • Nukenado

            I should get to H.P. Lovecraft sooner, although my view of the Cthulu mythos has already been tainted by fucking Cthulu themed Japanese hentai, questionable Chinese translations and reading up on the man himself.
            R.E.M. though. Apparently they have some metal cred, but I don’t care for the Losing My Religion song every rock station plays.

          • I don’t think REM has any metal cred, myself, I just love them. Lovecraft should always have a place in your heart and nightmares though, even if your Cthulu dreams are already dark.

          • Nukenado

            I’ve seen some R.E.M. metal covers floating around myself.
            Lovecraft I definitely have on my bucket list.

          • Nukenado

            Postscript: Keep your Muppet fingers out of my Cthulu dreams Drew!
            P. P. S. Thaks for recommending Unreqvited, Drew. That split has some staying power.

          • It’s what I do yo, I soil dreams and cleanse souls.

          • But… why Nickelback?

          • To illustrate my point about this being retro rock, as opposed to sounding anything like modern rock. What we call a rock band these days is far removed sonically from the days of yore, I wanted it to be clear that this was something more traditional.

        • Nukenado

          Well argued, I concede.

    • I did what needed to be done without having to tag anyone awful and dirty up my nice review.

      • Nukenado

        Eh, Three Days Grace’s two new albums aren’t that bad.

  • Very well written review and it’s nice to hear some rock music that doesn’t suck. Your taste in music is different from mine, which we’ve established in the past (and I think that’s more than okay), but our tastes still intersect sometimes and this looks like it will be one of those times. I think the mastering is way too loud, at least on the stuff I’ve heard, but it’s still enjoyable.

    Your writing is enjoyable and I hope to see your reviews continue on this website. Good stuff, sir!

    • The world needs more you’s. I appreciate the objective thinking, kind words and encouragement, and I certainly hope to be able to do this until the light takes us, unicorns and all.

      • I’m very glad that you got involved ok the writing side for the website. All the reviews I’ve read of yours were well written and entertaining (some of them were more interesting than the music).

        Also, I’ve already brought three more of me’s into this world and that’s probably more than enough. They are open minded musically, which I am very proud of.

  • Eli Valcik

    I’m not too big of a fan of this, but I really want that vinyl, damn thing looks sexy as hell.

  • h_f_m

    The embed reminds me of a metal version of Death Cab For Cutie… and that’s not a bad thing Transatlanticism was brilliance.

    • Transatlanticism is permanent top twenty material for me. Roughly low teens, loved about on par with the likes of White Pony by Deftones and Meshuggah’s ObZen. Variety, yo. It’s, like, the spice of life and junk.

  • One More Thing

    Dude, your reviews are fantastic. Really enjoyed this, per usual. Off to check out this band now, hopes are way up.

    • Thanks yo, I appreciate the readership and hope you won’t be disappointed. If for some reason you are, take a digital jaunt to their merchandise options and let the chuckles ease your pain.

  • Scott Tyson

    Nice review and the embedded track is quite nice. Kinda reminds my of LA Chinga. Kinda retro, kinda sludgy,but unique.

  • Tofu muncher

    this is so good I don’t care if my daughter happens to look at my computer screen and see what I’m listening from iTunes which is Hobofrickin’sexual well them fonts help I got a squint to read that it indeed reads Hobosexual seriously hobosexual??? thanks AMG another great find I’m listening to their old albums now seriously them guitars… facemelt

    • Came for the name, stayed for the awesome, myself. There are some truly glorious band names out there, it’s my solemn duty to see that the greats get their time to shine.

  • foreverAlfon

    Those R.E.M. references tho

  • RuySan

    This does feel like a doomier Guns n’Roses, which is something that I never knew i needed.

    I quite like it.

  • sir_c

    They should go touring with the Rug Munchers

  • lrn2swim

    These guys are great live too, been seeing them around Seattle at small clubs for the last 10 years or so.

    • That’s fuckin cool dude, I can only imagine what a blast they must be to experience in the ‘sexual flesh.