By Dave Pehling

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Bay Area funk institution for over a decade, Monophonics has gradually evolved to become one of San Francisco’s most creative purveyors of psychedelic soul. Founded by drummer Austin Bolman in 2005, the quintet initially mined a vein of instrumental jazz-funk similar to boogaloo revivalists The Sugarman 3, Soulive,  and the Greyboy Allstars — whose saxophonist, Karl Denson, guested on the crew’s 2010 album Into the Infrasounds.

monophonics Local Funk Outfit Monophonics Lands At Independent

Monophonics (

The group’s third album, 2012’s In Your Brain, showed the results of what sounded like the members of Monophonics doing some serious “woodshedding” in the Temptations’ “Psychedelic Shack.” Introducing a fuzzed-out guitar sound soaked in Echoplex delay, tunes like “Sure Is Funky,” “All Together,” and the title track were reminiscent of the acid-laced grooves of early Funkadelic and noted Motown producer Norman Whitfield’s most tripped-out creations with the Temps and Edwin Starr.

The album also featured a stellar cover of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” that holds its own against the timeless Nancy Sinatra and Terry Reid versions of the Sonny Bono-penned classic and pointed towards the next turn the band’s sound would take. While still steeped in the ’60s sound, the band’s latest recording, Sound of Sinning, embraces a different side of the psychedelic era.

Without abandoning distorted guitars and funk breaks altogether, the new Monophonics album offers up intricate orchestrations and slow-burn balladry that nod equally to the lush chamber pop of the Beach Boys and the Zombies. In 2015, the band delivered a fiery set on the main Banjo Stage for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival that was a highlight of the Friday performances. Last year, the group was a featured act at BottleRock in Napa. The band headlines at the Independent Thursday night, previewing some of the songs it will soon be releasing on its forthcoming EP Mirrors, a collection of well-known and obscure covers. Local rock outfit Hibbity Dibbity and noted DJ/producer Amerigo Gazaway (the man behind the noted mash-up collections Fela SoulYasiin Gaye and B.B. and the Underground Kingz).

Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m. $22-$25
The Independent


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