Los Angeles-based garage punk band The Monolators formed in the fall of 2002. Drummer Mary Chartkoff and guitarist Mike Dennis were playing together in an unnamed (and slowly dissolving) living-room jam band when banjoist Eli Chartkoff met Mary at a bar. Now a spunky trio, they shuffled between names and instruments before playing their first show as the Monolators in September 2002, with Eli singing and playing bass guitar. Since then they've gigged constantly in the Silverlake club scene and released their debut EP, "Hi-Fi Sound." Tracks from the EP made their way on to LA radio play lists, with airplay on KXLU's legendary Demolisten show, KPFK's Nixon Tapes, and KCRW's Weekend Becomes Eclectic. In May of 2003 internet zine No-Fi Magazine added to the media scrutiny of the 4-song disc with a gracious review and a plum spot on their streaming radio show, immediately following Grand Master Flash!
With melodic tunes, playful lyrics, a frantic stage presence, and general loudness, the Monolators present punk rock as it might be played by, say, Muppets. Eli's songwriting draws on the ghost of Buddy Holly, the punk rock of New York's Television and the UK's Automatics, and the red-hot banjo troubadour Uncle Dave Macon; Mike's guitar arrangements pull from the likes of the Clash, 1960's surf rock, and the folk music of Phil Ochs; and Mary's drumming recalls the child savants of the Langley Schools Music Project, her fondness for electronic music, and general spasms.
The Monolators have recorded their first full-length album, "Rejection Set ME Free" (in their garage, of course).