US band MONKEYSOOP have been active since 2003, and I understand that they have been and still are an active live band in addition to being a busy recording unit. Their most recent production is the EP “Where the Truth Lies…”, which was released earlier this year. This EP is the band’s tenth release in total.
What we’re dealing with here is what I’d describe as a modern day version of the classic garage rock bands of the 70’s. A bit edgier, a bit harder, but primarily lo-fi, with psychedelic effects scattered around in many of the songs. If you can imagine a beefed up version of The White Stripes that adds in some of the approach and atmosphere of The Cramps you won’t be all that far off.
When mix and production by and large doesn’t give a band many favors, everything comes down to material and performance and how compelling and striking these are. In this case this is more of a roller-coaster ride for me. The stand-out track for me is the one where the band opts to polish their sound and hone in on a more conventional expression, a cut named Something to Fear. Otherwise the band hovers around the borders of the pleasantly but not all that engaging material – unless you have a soft spot for productions of this specific nature obviously. Their choice to cover Judas Priest’s classic Sinner at the end of the EP is another deviation from the norm, and a good example of the roller-coaster ride feeling I get from this production: A cover I’d say is highly successful as far as all instruments go, but one where the raspy, breaking lead vocals is an element that will have a limited appeal.
Monkeysoop describe their music as Experimetal Mock Rock. I do not know what that implies, but for myself I’d say that those who find the notion of listening to a lo-fi cross between The White Stripes and The Cramps alluring, with light psychedelic flavoring and explored within a hard rock context, might want to hit their streaming service of choice to find out what this band is all about.
My rating: 6/10
Acid King, Winters Eve, Crazy, Something to Fear, Congregation of the Dead, Sinner