REVIEW: Ron – “Ron Is Real”

Ron Is Real

Get on your fucking knees! RON is here, your demon God! You will give your soul and take His seed!!

I saw Ron’s first show, and that first show was a spiritual experience. It was as if the ghosts of punk rock’s past were brought forth in some sort of fucked up seancé in Mark Hale’s garage out in Bashford Manor. I immediately fell in love with them and I still remember it vividly a year later.
Monks Yawning is by far one of the most important musicians in Louisville right now. Previously a folk singer from Memphis, this is his first foray into punk rock, and it’s obviously his calling. His tales of Tennessee dirt and grime, Guntown Mountain, weirdos, and a girl named CC who pisses on white people, are tall tales of the modern American South. I could go on about him, but he’s only a third of the demon.

The fundamental elements that make up Ron are John Gravatte of Sweatermeat fame and Scott Sharpe who recently played in The Awkwardnauts and Aladdin’s Castle. Gravatte’s guitar is the perfect second voice to Monks’ twisted howls. His guitar is dirty as a motherfuck, cutting through the speakers as if you’ve blown them out. Sharpe’s drumming cuts through the power chords with a heavy ass-pounding. He plays a minimal drum set and his snare sounds as if he’s about to put a hole in it. He keeps the rhythm going like a train on the overpass of Baxter Ave.

Did I mention how fucking dirty this record is? The intro to the first track “P.O.W.” sounds like something off of Black Sabbath’s first record. Monks plays a harmonica over the speaker hell that is Gravatte’s guitar. This record is dirty, but I don’t plan on taking a bath anytime soon.
It’s the soundtrack of Louisville, the gateway to the South. Just listen to “Fortified Barbarians” and tell me that doesn’t fit driving into Louisville via I-65 southbound. It sounds humid, it sounds frustrated, it also just sounds like who gives a flying fuck. “Beasts of England” which plays out like a satanic ritual in the woods, conjures up images of our beloved goatman, but just stay off those damn trestles.

And if you haven’t seen them live, do yourself a goddamn favor and go! On stage Monks is riling, barefoot in blue suspenders, and on one occasion in the nude. Gravatte is usually standing near the crowd playing his guitar like it ain’t nothin but a thing. Sharpe playing the drums so minimally that it’s fucking complicated.

So turn off the lights, light a fire, put this disc on, and dance around and fall in love with your inner demons. Ron is Real, and if you don’t believe you’re soul has already lost.

Listen to Ron Is Real in its entirety below:

Highlights: It’s a Boy, Fortified Barbarians, Trippp’n, Beasts of England
Genre votes: Garage Punk, Stoner Metal
Recorded: 2016
Produced by: Ron & David Batcheldor
Cover photo by: unknown

For other similar Louisville punk: Bold Beginnings: An Incomplete Collection of Louisville Punk 1978-1983, Live From Mutant Fest ’14

This review was written by Kate McColl on September 5, 2016. In addition to writing about music Kate also plays guitar and sings in post-punk band Hannoi Jane.