Monkey Okay

Monkey Okay

Written by: PP on 08/02/2016 22:25:31

Aalborg, Denmark-based Monkey Okay released their self-titled debut album during the summer last year, and it has since been picked up as a nominee for this year's High Voltage Rock Awards, arguably on the merit of a couple of solid tracks on the record even if the overall product isn't all that great. With a healthy love for early 90s Seattle, they channel grunge influence against a darker kind of lightly industrial psychedelia that echoes the late 80s British rock bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode in particular.

Let's take opening track, for instance, that for some inexplicable reason is called the same as the album AND the band. Imagine if Foo Fighters wrote a song called Foo Fighters? Weird. Anyhow, it is one of the best tracks on the record despite sounding like a cheap Pearl Jam ripoff based on the grungy guitar tone and the Eddie Vedder inspired vocals. It has a pretty good melody line and catchy guitars, so despite the obvious imitation, the song pulls it off without embarrassment. "Shadows And Flames" takes a heavier and slower grunge approach with a few stoner undertones, here turning eyes and ears towards Alice In Chains in particular. The same with "Inferno". Speaking of the darker psychedelia, we can highlight "Fire Inside" as one of the key tracks on the record. This is the one where late 80s English rock vibe comes across noticeable. "Heroes Stand Alone" is another.

So as you can see, Monkey Okay aren't afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. On the aforementioned songs, the expression works and the songs are decent enough. Dingdingding, keyword found: decent. When directly juxtaposed against international grunge bands, the songs aren't much better than that. And that's the good songs, which account for about half of the record. The rest drowns in hopeless mediocrity and anonymous melodies that don't stick to mind even after weeks of listening. Alas, five songs do not an album make, and overall "Monkey Okay" is disappointingly inconsistent. The vocals are too flat, the guitars well played but boring, and the rest of the instrumental landscape isn't much to write home about. The songwriting simply needs to be much better before the songs matter.


Download: Monkey Okay, Fire Inside, I Wanna Know
For the fans of: Alice In Chains, Jane's Addiction, Pearl Jam, The Cure
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.06.2016

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