Equally mind-bending and sonically versatile, “Lohman Presents Monoliths” by Massachusetts experimentalists LOHMAN is an exciting remixed/remastered discography release featuring 21 songs clocking in at 55 minutes, showcasing the band’s sheer talent and recalling one of the finest and most distinctive songwriters in the genre of experimental post hardcore, noise rock and chaotic hardcore. Today, we’re giving you a special insight into their story through their special essay and a lengthy, insightful list of artists/albums/labels that have been on their minds over the course of the past decade.
Guitarist Brian McNally remembers the band’s early days: “Monoliths began as many bands do – four high school friends with an itch to jam and channel our energies and musical tastes, and most importantly to have a lot of fun. From our earliest practices in Campo’s garage (deemed the Hobbit Hut) to our final practices in Christian’s Maine basement, our goal was always to make music that was a little challenging for us to play but even more fun to play in front of the teeny crowds of punk kids who may have seen us in our short run.
Kehan and I bonded in 11th grade over our mutual love of music.”
𝑊𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑑, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒, 𝑎 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑓𝑜𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒, 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑙, 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑒 𝑟𝑜𝑐𝑘 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑡-𝑟𝑜𝑐𝑘 𝑡monℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑎 𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑡𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑛𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑔𝑎𝑡𝑒.
“We recruited the incredible talents of our friends Christian and Campo who had played in a fantastic local band called Funkhole and shared our love of music and pushed us to expand our tastes. We were lucky to have played some really amazing shows with great local bands and some touring bands we seriously looked up to. Monoliths dissolved as we all approached the struggle of adulthood – going to college, moving around and starting anew, working full time, trying to pay rent, discovering ourselves. At our final practice we jammed some songs that became the foundation for Lohman, a new band featuring Kehan and myself along with our closest friend Elle.
It was a fruitful practice but an ultimately strange day in which we (excluding the clear headed Campo) took some hallucinogenic drugs and wound up experiencing different levels of bad trippage. We played one final show a few years later in 2018 at the truly magical Thing In The Spring fest in Peterborough, NH.”
𝐻𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑎𝑠 𝑀𝑜𝑛𝑜𝑙𝑖𝑡ℎ𝑠 𝑎𝑠 𝑤𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑔𝑖𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑝𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑜𝑟 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝐿𝑜ℎ𝑚𝑎𝑛.
“We hope you enjoy the songs and we sincerely thank you, the listener, for your support.” – concludes Brian.
LOHMAN are: Matt Campo – bass, Christian Northover – drums, Kehan Larivee – vocals, Brian McNally – guitar
The art for this release was designed by John Bogan.
This record was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Mike Moschetto. All the live photos used were taken by Freddie Ross.
𝑆𝑜 ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒, 𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑤𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑.
“We decided late last year that the Monoliths name would be retired primarily to contain this period of time that Brian, myself, Campo, and Christian spent together making music.” – says vocalist Kehan Larivee. “Monoliths was an integral part of our lives that we felt should be properly separated from what we make moving forward. Capturing these few years as best as we possibly could was the main motivator behind what ended up happening.”
Over the past two months the band decided they would usher in the new band name with a lengthy discography album of their previous Monoliths material. With the help of Larry Records that is now a reality.
“We now go by the name of Lohman – a name that has a full book’s worth of back story.” – continues Kehan. “However, we’d like to start here with this record “Lohman Presents Monoliths”. All the music was recorded between 2012-2014. Some of the songs have been remixed, remastered, slightly edited, and some have been cut altogether (looking at you Death Grips cover).”
𝑊𝑒 ℎ𝑜𝑝𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑢𝑡𝑖𝑓𝑢𝑙 𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑗𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑛𝑒𝑦. 𝐿𝑜ℎ𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑙𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑤𝑒’𝑣𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑑 𝑏𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒, 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑑𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑦 𝐿𝑃.
“Will we record it all? We can only hope so.” – promises Kehan. “In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this record of songs we made as young adults just trying to have some fun. Infinite thanks to John Bogan for absolutely killing it with the art. Infinite thanks to Mike Moschetto who has somehow become an even more integral part of this band by assembling and making this music sound as amazing as it does.”
“We have a very very special tape release of this discography currently in the manufacturing process with Larry Records (follow Larry Records on IDIOTEQ HERE). We’re expecting them to be finished mid-December.” – teases Kehan.
Track by track commentary
Daze – Ejecta – Cascade
I always wanted to experiment with crafting a concept around a trilogy of songs. I thank Loma Prieta for the inspiration behind that one. Weird story about a fiery natural disaster, a false shepherd, and what matters most when your life flashes before your eyes.
A very simple song that is pretty self explanatory and was formed easily from a simple quote by astrophysicist Neil Tyson.
“we are stardust in the highest exalted way, called by the universe reaching out to the universe”
We wanted our very good friend Zack Dion (This Is Not Okay) to scream on a track and we wanted to let them go as hard as they could. Could not have gone better.
This song is made up of a bunch of ideas. A bunch of separate riffs and sections of music that we mashed together. Campo wrote the lyrics for this puppy and it’s also a concept track. The story revolves around a husband who loses their mind, blacks out, kills their significant other, and the song is about what goes through the killer’s head. Ambitious for us at the time just because we really had no idea what we wanted to do with the band other than have fun.
This is the song I am the most proud of. I think Brian and myself can agree on that one. This is the song that started Monoliths. A simple repeating riff and the same lyrics until it snowballs into an absolute cacophony of noises and screams. Also directed at everyone in our lives that have failed us miserably.
Brian here – this song is like a hellish cartoon nightmare about masculinity and sex, it’s a bit grotesque and tongue-in-cheek. I was a silly writer at the time. This one kicks butt to play live, the first riff is the only riff from a joke band that Campo and Christian and I formed for one show in high school called Matty O’Campo and the Golden Shillelagh.
While tripping on LSD, I once put a pillow over my face for a few hours. When I finally took the pillow off I had a strange realization that there is something beyond the darkness my eyes and mind were unable to perceive. Not everything appears what it seems and I basically wrote this song on LSD :)
May Have Been, Before
This was the most difficult song to record. I fucked up the delivery of the lyrics and we had to spend so much time trying to get all the lyrics in the right place. The downfall of saying too much in a song but I do think we channel a solid These Arms Are Snakes vibe.
Looking back on this track I wish I hadn’t been specifically referring to someone from the hetero perspective. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but since this song was written about a specific person I felt if it was neutral that I might have more joy performing it live. Be careful who you write songs about :)
Brian here. I wrote the lyrics for this while we were all together recording a bunch of stuff. Campo and I went next door from the studio to get pizza and beer and I wrote the lyrics there at the pizza place. I don’t remember any of my dreams, so it’s mostly about that. Looking back the use of frogs in the chorus definitely came about because I was listening to a lot of A Great Big Pile Of Leaves at the time and their song “Pizzanomics” ends with a nice line about a frog.
“Living a life in stormy weather” is a line that I feel can be applied to any situation to anyone who is having a shit time. In the year 2020, I didn’t realize how much that line would resonate during this pandemic. I wrote this track during a big break up thinking it might help get everything that I was feeling at the time off my chest. It didn’t.
There Is No Me
This song was done before we even finished writing it. The entire idea of this song was to add it to a compilation release that we were very excited to be on. Unfortunately for some silly reason we were removed from it. Making this track stand out on its own. Shout out to our very good friend Freddie Ross for supplying us with the song title.
Lysergide – Dys
In early 2012, I had become a victim of sexual assault by my first partner. Not to mention six months of the most absurd mental abuse I have ever endured. I was lied to about a pregnancy that culminated in a fake abortion on my graduation day of high school. I was cheated on as well with most of the school knowing about this before I did. Their parent was completely incapable of taking care of children. I hope to write better songs involving this subject matter but so far these two songs bring it home.
Mistaken For Strangers, written by The National
Brian here. It’s funny looking back at this cover now – we all love The National, but when we recorded this cover it was mostly because of my love for them. Years later Kehan is the bigger fan of the band (my love for them is undying, but Kehan saw them premiere Sleep Well Beast at Basilica Hudson and that’s a legendary experience) so maybe we’ll cover something by them that he can choose someday. I chose this song because I knew Christian would love the drum parts, and I knew I could pull out a decent Matt Berninger impression.
From The Hips, written by Cursive
Cursive was one of the earliest bands that I got into as a kid.. All thanks to my sister. I remember her getting really heated with my dad when she couldn’t go to their show because it was 18+. She has six years on me and this was during the Ugly Organ tour so I was quite young when this happened. Out of all their records, Mama I’m Swollen really hit me. Especially during a strange period of my life. Made sense to cover something from that record.
Terminal Nation, written by Infest
I honestly can’t remember why we decided to record this cover. All I know is we really dig this band and this song really fuckin’ rips. It was also a great way to step outside our bubble and tackle a genre we don’t usual touch on.
Sadness Comes Home, written by Converge
When we originally wanted to do our covers EP, we had a list of songs that we planned to record. Some of the songs we’re unfortunately too difficult to pull off for whatever reason. The two songs we had to cut we a cover of Blink 182’s Reckless Abandon and Every Time I Die’s Wanderlust. We had to come up with a replacement on the spot. Since this band originally formed to make music that was in the vein of Converge, we decided that we could pull off Sadness Comes Home. All of us knew All We Love We Leave Behind by heart. Including Christian who literally isn’t even trying on this recording and barely had to prepare to record the drums. We definitely felt silly though at the time since AWLWLB was released a few months prior. Over time we all think it aged well and decided to keep it in.
Beans, Pinto (Live @ AS220)
Brian here. This song was the first really short song we wrote, and I just wanted to write something a little more chaotic and messy than our earlier songs. Kehan didn’t have any written lyrics yet because we figured out bass/drum parts earlier that day, so it’s likely they’re just barking about nothing in true old-school Monoliths style.
The top artists/albums/labels that have influenced LOHMAN / MONOLITHS over the past decade
Kehan: The first time I heard Skee Mask’s Compro, I knew I had been waiting for an album like this.
I had never heard jungle, dnb, and ambient techno so effortlessly blended together in this fashion. Everything I love about electronic music in a single album. It was mind blowing to me. The label that released Compro, Ilian Tape, seems to be crafting their own equation when it comes to being a cutting edge record label. Ilian Tape’s releases not only share commonalities from a graphic design perspective, but even the sonics within pretty much ALL of their releases. Whether it’s Stenny, Surgeon, Zenker Brothers, Andrea, or Skee Mask, you will hear these beautiful and almost unrealistic similarities in the music that I have personally never heard before.
Brian and myself go out on a limb saying this with our tinfoil hats on tight. If you super-impose Skee Mask’s art for Shred and Compro on top of each other they look like they are one in the same image. The small human-like figure in the blue haze attempting to climb the to the peak of a mountain. Even if it’s just a complete coincidence, It’s the kind of wild connectedness that you rarely see. Almost like creating their own musical mythos.
Stenny – Upsurge
Skee Mask – Shred
Skee Mask – Compro
Zenker Brothers – Cosmic Transmission
Surgeon – Europa Code
VA – A Decade Ilian Tape
Octo Octa – Resonant Body
Brian: For the past several years, I’ve been really into dance music on the whole and began going out to clubs around Boston and enjoying the fantastic community here. Last year, amidst a period of revelation in regards to my gender identity, this album hit home. Octo Octa and their partner Eris Drew were two of the best DJs I had the privilege of seeing play out (I was supposed to see them again here on my birthday in March, before the year turned sour). Their expression of love and generosity rings heavy through the dance music world and provides a very welcome space for queer, trans, and nonbinary dancers to find the joy and euphoria of dancing safely and with comfort. To me this album embodies concepts of self-love, control, acceptance, and the adaptive nature of the process of change. It is important, vital, and extremely fun music. I urge you to listen and to feel the LUV.
Dweller On The Threshold
Kehan: It’s 2012, and I am about to experience one of the sweatiest gigs I’ve seen in my freakin’ life. It was Now Denial’s 10 year anniversary gig at What We Talk About in Allston, MA. An absolutely stacked line-up with a few bands performing for the final time, Bravo Fucking Bravo, L’antietam, and one of my all time personal favorites, Daniel Striped Tiger. The venue was a punk pressure cooker. Hoards of people were packed in side to side into a tiny room that could barely hold 40 let alone the ACTUAL headcount in that room. Daniel Striped Tiger performed an insane set. I remember laying on the pavement after it feeling like I was stuck in a dryer for 30+ minutes. Seeing them was a very cathartic experience.
After DST’s fiery final set, something wonderful happened. I walked over to DST’s merch table and checked out one of the records they had available at their merch table. One record stand out in particular. The artwork is nothing more than a green/black picture of a nebula floating in the void of space. It was something that immediately peaked my interest. This ended up being the first time I met Jason. He tells me he’s a member of this new collective called Dweller On The Threshold and that this is their debut LP. After some very rad and interesting dialogue, it was clear I was going to buy this record. I took the record home and spun it on my turntable more times than I can count. As a result, my copy is absolutely beat to shit.
Little did I know that Dweller On The Threshold would become so much more relevant in just a few years. Not to mention this record stuck to me like glue and could not stop listening to it. Six years later they post onto their facebook page if anyone would be interested in pressing their second album. I reached out immediately and Don’t Live Like Me Records was never the same. Releasing Dweller On The Threshold’s second album was a monumental turning point. I have made fantastic friends and people I never thought I would meet let alone handle any music that they make. Especially of this caliber. Now fast-forward a few years ahead, My main focus for the label currently is the music that Eric (a member of Death To Tyrants and one of the core songwriters of Dweller) releases under his semi-solo project Footings. With close friends in the mix, he brings the genres of Americana, Folk, and Post Rock wrapped into one lovely combination of sound.
The reality is that if it wasn’t for Eric from Dweller/Footings, the final Monoliths show might not have happened. Thing In The Spring 11 was our final oppertunity to go out with a bang. It was sick too, we played outside in front of a bookstore. As a band we have an endless amount of gratitude for Eric giving us that oppertunity. Performing on a festival with Bonnie Prince Billy, The Weather Station, and Giraffes? Giraffes!? Not in our wildest dreams. If it wasn’t for discovering Dweller, I’m not quite sure how things would have turned out. All I know is that our lifes would be quite different. Please check this band out and all the members’ other projects too.
Releases associated with members of Dweller On The Threshold that are worth checking out:
– Footings – Self Titled
– Death To Tyrants – Wake Up and Be
– Sweet John Bloom – Picky + Weird Prayer
– Daniel Striped Tiger – No Difference
– Ampere – Like Shadows
– Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
Also as of today, Dweller On The Threshold’s albums Vol. I and Vol. II are now available for the first time on all streaming platforms.
Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
Brian: When this album was released, I had not heard of Julie Byrne but happened to read some glowing press coverage of her new music. Pressing play I was immediately entranced by the sheer beauty of Byrne’s songs – her voice passes like a gentle breeze over streams of fingerpicked guitar, effortlessly capturing the awe of the natural world while combating the cursory nature of living with an inherently calm perspective. Almost directly after hearing the record, shortly after its release, I heard that she was touring through my area and I begged Kehan to come along with me so I wouldn’t go alone. I’ll never forget chatting with her after her stunning performance, being caught off guard by how much that calm perspective truly is her. I was reminded that music is a magical transmitter of the soul.
Jenny Hval’s Apocalypse Girl
I heard Apocalypse Girl during a very strange and vulnerable time in my life. It’s an album that happened to soundtrack the initial discovery that I am queer and no longer idenified anything previously assigned to me. The album’s message and imagery triggered and impacted me to the point where I had to reflect deeply on why her music was cutting so deep with me. It was a process and whenever I hear this album I remember the freeing feeling I had and still have. My life brightened when I started to embrace my more feminine/queerness. The music didn’t necessarily cause it but was very helpful. When I listen to the old Monoliths material I hear a confused kid with no real direction or guidance for any self discovery. Apocalypse Girl gave me an important perspective that contributed to my realization that the femininity within me needed to be explored. At the time I knew that if I did, it would not only make me comfortable in my own skin, but a better human being universally. My final thought is that I can say this with absolutely certainty and by no means of exaggeration, that this is one of my favorite albums off all time.
Abe Vigoda – Skeleton
Brian: Whenever I listen to this record I have to move. It’s too much fun. Sadly this band hasn’t been around for a while now, but they came from the same LA scene that birthed the more well-known punk lifers No Age (another favorite). I didn’t hear their music until they had disbanded which sucks because this album is a literal blast. It sounds like a firework. I have never been a drummer but this shit has me air-drumming like a wild animal. Bright, poppy, math-y, and explosive, this record rarely leaves my rotation.
Kehan: Since the beginning of September this band has been glued my ears. I don’t even fully understand why. All I know is Live @ Vicar Street has been a personal obsession. I can’t stop sharing it with people even though I don’t care if they like it. It’s this reckless regard I have for long standing friendships that makes me realize, “holy shit this band is so good they’re making me looney” The intensity of their music is unmatched. Pushing the boundaries of no-wave, noise and post-punk to the point of utter oblivion. Bringing to mind all of the aggressive and angsty music we played with as Monoliths. It reinforces how we can continue to reinvent our sound and innovate more than we currently do. If this band can kill it, it makes us think, “hey maybe we can too”.
Mannequin Pussy – Patience
Brian: I don’t know if there’s anything I can say about this record that isn’t being shouted loudly by every other rabid MP fan, but do yourself a favor and listen to this hell of a record. Listen to this band. Marisa and company are writing the most beautiful, pained, and heavy songs out there. Seeing them at the now-shuddered Great Scott (RIP) here in Boston last year was a highlight of my life. Follow them on social media – they’re very active in their community and deserve every bit of your time and attention.
Watch the “Drunk II” video and if you don’t cry, you may want to rethink your life.
Kehan: While recovering from being sick in 2016, Grouper’s music was very easy to listen to after weeks of not being able to digest any sort of music comfortably. My hearing was greatly impaired, matched with a deafening roar that kept me from being a normal person for months. When I was finally able to listen to music without becoming anxious, I had to ease back into it. Only some records I could tolerate listening to on repeat before the anxiety would kick in again from the ringing. A few albums come to mind when I think of that period. Footings’ Alienation, Nils Frahm’s Solo, and the most important being Grouper’s Cover the Windows and the Walls. I can’t explain why but this album drowned out my tinnitus better than most records I tried listening to. It even went further as to help me achieve REM sleep and naturally reduce the constant nausea I had. I have Grouper to thank for the many nights of sleep I was able to achieve on this long voyage back to reappreciating the importance of music and personal healing.
Shinichi Atobe – From the Heart, It’s a Start, a Work of Art / Heat / Yes
Brian: Shinichi Atobe’s string of albums released over the past few years via the fantastic DDS label have been a joy to follow. His history as a recording artist is hermetic and quiet (google it!) and he still now retains a level of mysteriousness, but his personality is all right there in the music.
His songs have a way of feeling both nostalgic and forward-thinking, often blending warm bass tones with tickling hi-hats. The moments in which new layers appear and disappear never become expected even after hundreds of listens. The albums as wholes get progressively more euphoric and joyful from one to the next with Heat and Yes diving further into piano house and adding hand drums and swinging basslines to the mix. His music continues to conjure a specific warmth like dusting off an old photo of yourself with an old friend and wondering what happened to those times only to find yourself smiling.