Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Levelhead - The CD That Will Never Be

Here is the download: Levelhead Discography

Cory from Round Ear Spock mentioned Levelhead in a comment recently, so I thought it was high time to post their LP that was never released as well as the split 7" with Quadiliacha and the "Spooky" 7". This was a great Atlanta band of the west coast melodic punk variety (think Lookout Records), and would put on really fun shows during the mid-Nineties. They actually had a great knack for melody, and rose above the high concentration of pop-punk bands during this era. Many shows were played with Quadiliacha, with Car Vs. Driver, with tons of other bands, and then they were gone. I knew Matt Monroe the bassplayer a bit, and would see him around town every so often, but I believe he never joined another band. If I remember correctly, he was in a project or two that never got off the ground, but it's all a bit hazy right now. I do remember he was a journalism major in college, and eventually moved to the Virgin Islands, where he worked at their local paper, and basically drank every day and stared out at the ocean. For us living in non-tropical Atlanta, this seemed like heaven. Later in the band, they got a second guitarist from the Pullouts named Damien, who also started The Walt Lariat with Brian Lysne from the Midget Farmers, so everything comes full circle.

By the way, Cory has recently started a blog called Under The Muck, that posts obscure records from the Seventies onwards, covering a wide range of styles. Check it out, it has potential to be pretty interesting.

Here are some flyers posted on the Levelhead Myspace page, I vaguely remember playing the Anti-Punkzine Benefit at the Somber Reptile - was that the one where Dan and Dave Punk had mics on either side of the stage and do little pep talks while bands were setting up?

Lastly, here are the lyrics and insert from the split 7" with Quadiliacha. Unfortunately I do not have the artwork for the "Spooky" 7". Thanks also to Steve Wishart for sending me this nicely compiled discography.


  1. Wow, thanks James, for the blog shout-out and the Levelhead disc.

  2. oh how i loved these guys. i worked with matt my first job outta college at the mdj-owned northside neighbor. after several months he got a job at the atlanta business chronicle and i at a design firm. i saw him around a bit before he moved. found him on the facebooks recently, he lives in ny, went to law school and just passed the bar.

  3. Wow, a lawyer, eh? Good for him. That's great.

  4. What a treat... Damien made me a copy of this LP when they first recorded it and I seriously wore it out and have been missing it ever since.

    I was actually just thinking about them the other day when Jay and Brad's new(er) band The Paper Champions came up on my playlist.

    Thanks James.

  5. Oh... I think Track 21 you have up there is "Don't Be Fooled" off of the "Dear Fred, It Was Me That Did It" comp.

  6. I usually listen to the music that I'm posting a few times while I'm writing about it for inspiration, and it really made me realize how great this band was. They could really put together a melodic punk song on the highest level. There are several songs that I haven't heard for 10+ years that I completely remember after listening to the CD. It's a shame that their LP never came out, as it is by far their best recorded. I think the song "I can see it in your eyes" is one of the best unheard (at least by me) songs from that era. It makes me want to hear The Walt Lariat again. Does anyone have any recordings by them?

  7. Levelhead are another great underrated Atlanta band. I always thought it was a shame that they never put the album out. Issa was suppose to do it, but eventually backed out or something. I was always surprised though that a bigger punk label never picked them up. Maybe if they had gotten just a little more exposure that would have happened.

    I wanted to put something out by them on Lunchbox, but money was tied up car vs. driver stuff at the time. Jay and I talked a bit about doing a split car vs. driver / levelhead 7" but unfortunately it never happened. When car vs. driver was asked to do a split 7" on No Idea records I pushed that Levelhead be the other band, but Var wanted it to be someone else and we ended up not even doing the No Idea record (looking back maybe not the best idea of not doing the record at all).

    Matt gave me a copy of the "cd that will never be" as he jokingly called it shortly after they recorded. After over 12 or more years now I still listen to it regularly to this day. Great melodic pop punk songs that last - of course some more than others.

    Matt did go to law school here in NYC and we hang out occasionally, but I haven't seen him awhile now - this motivates me to give him a call and hang out.

    On another note, I was the bass player in the original incarnation of the band that became Walt Lariat with Jay and Damien. I was really excited about playing in a band with Jay because of the admiration I had of Levelhead. I was kind of nudged out though after about 2 months. First and only band I was kicked out of! We were practicing in Athens and honestly I wasn't too upset about not having to drive there anymore.

  8. Shame on Steve for not putting this out and not putting out a record on No Idea which kids would probably still be buying if had happened. Shame on Var for not liking this too since this is pretty damn close to the signature No Idea sound these days. Oh well...

  9. Hi Gang,

    Jay Neubert here. Matt M just forwarded me a link to this blog, and I have to say I'm smiling that everyone who has posted liked/s Levelhead's "Humans Would All Look the Same At First to an Alien" aka "The CD That Will Never Be." I'm glad it's living and it was recorded, albeit also still bearing a grudge that Issa dropped the ball so many years ago. Matt, I'm sure, feels the same way. I've tossed the idea around recently to release it myself digitally through a distributor like The Orchard, just for fun, but haven't made a move in that direction yet. Probably never will.

    As for the songs, "I Can See It In Your Eyes" is a Men At Work cover song and was always a fav to play in my opinion. I actually asked my wife for a Men At Work tour shirt for christmas this year. "Tape the Line" was always a favorite of mine, as was "In a Minute." One item of note: Track 17 is actually called "Denizen" and appeared on a 3 Day Hero Records comp in South Carolina. James - I have all of the Walt Lariat stuff, the Clockside Vigil EP and the song from the Deep Elm comp. I can send it your way if you want them. Just send me your email addy -

    Steve - great to read that post from you! Hit me up.

    In case you guys cared in the least, musically, since the Walt Lariat days I've played in The Paper Champions with my brother Brad and a few friends, and now I've started a new one called Lakehurst Is Burning - again with my brother and few friends, including Garrett Grashuis who put out Denizen on 3 Day Hero Records. Full circle!

    Thank you all for the props. Made my day.

  10. too many tears have been shed over these turkeys by me. i'm so glad it's on here. xxxooooooxxxooo

    still needs to be put out, past the internet!!!

  11. I would definitely buy an LP version of this album. This would have been one of the best local albums of the time period if it actually was released.

  12. I was pretty bummed when I heard that Issa wasn't putting this out for whatever reason. I ordered Will to track down a copy for me awhile back, but he was in Japan, and I forgot to ask him again when he got back to the States. Thanks so much for posting this!

    I was always really impressed that Jay could sing and play guitar at the same time, given how complex some of his riffs were. Of all the Atlanta bands from this time period, I still believe that Levelhead had the most promise of anyone. Their first EP was (and is) so good and the EP with Quadiliacha was even better. "Reach" still gets a lot of play time in my iTunes library.

  13. One correction...
    I used to work with Matt Monroe. After Levelhead, Matt was in a band called Dirtbike. They played some shows during the Moreland Avenue Tavern heyday in '97 (give or take a year). Other members of Dirtbike included Mark Giorgione and Pat Foley, who along with Randy Castello later became the original lineup of The Flakes.

    Unfortunately I never got to see Levelhead. Thanks for posting the recordings!

  14. James, Steve, Jay, et. al.: Matt Monroe here, missing drinking everyday in the Virgin Islands and staring at the ocean.

    I may be a lawyer by day, but I am in NYC, keeping the SoCal melodic hc alive with my new band, Callsign, here

    And if anyone's around, I'll be in ATL next week visiting my redneck family.


  15. Matt Monroe's new band, Call Sign, is playing at Hank's in Brooklyn on Friday, April 23.

    Matt's Dad

  16. I've heard about a Quadiliachia/Levelhead reunion show...

  17. i'm guessing some songs are missing from the mediafire folder now? there are only 12 songs available. any chance of a re-up? thanks!

  18. FYI: Levelhead / Quadiliacha reunion show is slated for Sept 14, 2013 at The Earl. ;)

    You should be able to grab all of the LH tunes here:

  19. Lost album in the works. Show support here

  20. According to Jason, the album is close to complete.

  21. And it's Here!!!