Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sinking the Monkey in Speckled Hen - Sunken Monkey - Party Scars

Europe is a wondrous land that I've never been to, and therefore, can only assume is completely mythical. And smack dab in the middle of this mythical land (Because fuck geography) is England. Birthplace of a beautiful language, and home of my future self. Incidentally, this is also the home of a lovely little punk band I know very little about, Sunken Monkey.

These guys seem fun enough, and I've got a lovely advanced digital copy of their upcoming album, Party Scars (Though I am upset they stole the title of my memoirs) because I've got (nonexistent) clout and shit. Now this isn't slated for release until October of this year (2014), so I will be here to let you know if you ought to save your pennies and plan around waiting in line at your local record shop (Or, you know, wait in your boxers while on iTunes) for this album.

Not sure where they got this photo of me.

I'll be enjoying (again, hopefully) this brit album with a brit ale, Old Speckled Hen. I ran into my local liquor store screamed at the man that I needed an English Ale, and he showed me a whole shelf of options. Being the indecisive fuck that I am, I just grabbed what ever was closest. It's a nice beer, but I'm far from blown away. I'm hoping Party Scars is a little more wowing. So to find out, on to the review!



We open the album on "This Town's Too Big". The guitar is pretty with a slight grit to it, and the song opens up with a driving pop punk sound. Gang vocals open the verse immediately. And the cool little guitar part toward the end of the verse is pretty cool. Ahh... It's so nice to hear solid pop punk with vocals that bring in just the right amount of shout. Punk shouldn't sound so pretty, and too many pop punk bands get a little too cute wight he vocals.

"That's What She Said" comes in with a nice heavy-yet-bounce riff that I love. Vocals killing it again here. And the timing is all weird, but the context make it awesome. I can't follow the tempo well, but there is an amount of charm in that. Nice slow into stop and kick in... Whoa! Double kick... Fuck yeah.

"Don't Dodge A Game Of Dares" opens on guitar and launches into a heavy sounding drive. There is a slight messiness about everything thus far, and I couldn't have it any other way. This is a sweet driving punk song. Nice aggression, and those background "Ohs" are lovely. There's an almost early AFI feel with more fun to this track. I love the little harmonizing tags here and there wight the guitars. Enough to stand out, but not overtaking everything. Punk requires no solos. It just needs awesome, and thus far this album has it in abundance.

Another fun punk track opens with a the sound of a beer cracking. "0 to Pissed" just keeps moving forcing my fingers to fly hopelessly along. I'm thinking "Pissed" here is the British equivalent to the US's "Trashed". That was fun little dancy jam. And back to the punk. Lovely.

The title track build in before opening up into a rock feeling punk tune. A stop and go riff takes us into the verse. Again, in love with these vocals. The riff intensifies. And into a straight-up punk rock chorus. And they are definitely singing about multiple nights of my life. I enjoy this. heading into anise little interlude. Droping out... And back into that killer chorus. Back into the slower jam... Stop and go, and... End. Nice.

"Too Old For This Shit" comes in nice and pop punky. The lyrics all over on this album have been wonderful. Filled with alcoholism and fun times. It's lovely and so is this tune.

Groovy guitar opens "More Beer Than Blood" And I like the small, subtle deviations from straight punk. It keeps the album from running together, but the punk theme continues to be ever present. This song definitely has a rock feel, but the attitude is all punk. It's like everything the 80s party rick bands tried to do with utter failure. Great track.

"Lookin' Ain't Fuckin'" comes in witha fun guitar line. The opening almost stays past it's welcome, but the song moves along and when we hit the verse, all is right again. Lyrics fun and playful here especially when the music has this hint of a more tender punk feel, but the words let you know (If the title didn't already) that this is no sweet and tender tune. It's those little things that leave a smile on my face... Which is also the only thing I'm wearing. (Incidentally, that's what she said). God, I'm hilarious. =P

"Raw Red Stump" is a nice punk track, and the drums make great use of the "taco taco" beat in the verse. I love the "taco taco" beat. There are some nice and pretty guitar parts in this tune, and it actually has a more legitimately "tender" feel to it lyrically, but it's done with balls and gang vocals... The way it should be.

A nice growth in guitar line builds into "After All". This song is another rock groove track with a distinct punk additude. I like it. I also am liking this Old Speckled Hen more and more. Whoa! Killer chugging interlude. And hey, little punk solo. Never necessary, but always fun to note. Right on.

"Pissing In The Wind" brings us a more bouncy feel with the guitar opening before launching us into a killer stop go riff with drums that cannot be tamed. Holy shit that was cool. I really appreciate how fun the guitars are... They are pretentiously wanking about looking for attention, but they are there, and they make sure they are noticed beyond just backing the vocals. It's a prefect presence. There is all in all very little to not like about this album.

Coming in with a bang, "Never Look Back" brings us into a nice pop punk riff before setting into a stop-go chugging chorus. Growing... Nice pre-chous. And better chorus. This album is everything I wan right now, and everything the early 2000's needed to solidify that pop punk movement. Nice punk ballad of sorts here, and done lovely with a beautifully timed short and sweet punk solo. 

Final track coming in acoustically. Lyrics coming in with anthem feel that is everything I always need to here to make me feel right. Pretty guitar... And more singing of my life. Love it. 

Final Thoughts:
This album is perhaps a decade too late, but right where it needs to be fore me. With luck and hope, Sunken Monkey can start a much needed punk revival, but if that doesn't happen, at least we have the masterpiece that is Sunken Monkey's Party Scars. I NEED this record, and so do you.


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