Johnny Astro and The Big Bang's Monuments was a record I had been anticipating for some time. Nearly all of the songs on this album have been a part of JABB's setlist at their shows, and I for one am stoked to finally have recorded versions of these tunes to listen to at my leisure. Johnny Astro is a band that cranks it up and brings a hell of a lot of energy to their live performance, so I had the usual concerns about a studio album not doing the band justice compared to seeing them live. Obviously no recording can capture the full energy and passion of a live show, but Monuments comes about as close as you can get.
This album is superbly aggressive. Driven by heavy, blues influenced guitar licks, and gratifyingly thumping drums (pausing momentarily to slow things down so the listener can catch their breath as in "Country"), Monuments is the kind of record you listen to with the volume up. Whether you're listening while doing dishes, driving, jogging, or whatever, turn it up. Yet, among all of this raucous noise, these are well-written songs with strong melodies.