The Monocles - Out of Yr Mind [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Monocles

Out of Yr Mind [7 inch] (2008)


I wonder if Mitch Clem puts his clients through some type of quality assurance screening before agreeing to work with them. It would certainly seem so, as nearly everything he puts his pen to ends up representing a worthy contribution to the punk world. This is indeed the case with the Monocles' debut 7-inch, a promising display of the slapdash aesthetics of Texas garage punk.

Side A belongs to the single's namesake, "Out of Your Mind" (or "Outta Yr Mind" as it appears on the side A label), a rough and tumble garage rock number with distorted vocals that at 3:31 in length reminds me a bit of a Hatepinks tune, only three times as long. The song truly walks the line between garage rock and punk, with a lively, energetic beat, and blues-scale rock and roll guitar playing that gives it that trademark Texas garage feel.

"Tonight" leads off Side B, with a poky rhythm and climbing progression, very reminiscent of the Hot Snakes at half-speed, appropriate since the Monocles' directory of influences almost reads like a John Reis radio show playlist. The song also sees the band at their most melodic and with a tinge of surf tone thanks to some subtle whammy work. "Darken Your Door" pulls up the rear with repetitive lyrical themes ("There's a rip in the couch, there's a rip in the couch, there's a rip in the couch") and the most aggression on the single, a driving punk rhythm and grungey, scratchy guitar playing.

Even with only three fun, sloppy garage punk songs to base an opinion, it seems like Mitch Clem has picked another winner. The Monocles are on the radar with their debut single Out of Yr Mind, and have nowhere to go but up.