Monkeys In Love
Take the Biscuit
9 February 2015
The third full length release from Monkeys In Love leaps out of the speakers, grabs you by the ears, and shakes you about a bit, until you are leaping around in untrammelled abandon to their unique and rather memorable take on popular music.
Two years in the making, the collection of 10 songs is well worth the wait since the excellent “Will Pet And Cuddle You”. The overall feel of the collection is best described as “joyous”. The attention to detail in production, in essence why it has taken so long to get it out to the masses, makes for their best recorded work to date. The individual elements of the quintet’s musicianship is allowed to shine and Steve and Laura’s vocals have never been clearer.
As usual with the band the styles are mixed up and we get everything from driven post-punk, through psyche fuzz, a touch of krautrock, via lounge jazz to dreamy french pop sounds. More importantly, and as ably demonstrated by the opening title track, there is fully formed “Monkeys In Love” sound which is both infectious and unique, combining a number of disparate elements to deliver a refreshing sound.
To some degree the second track “Circle of Jerks” , previously available on the stop-gap EP from 2013, harks back to previous releases with it’s rolling guitar and “Yes Wave” sound. It moves, in a sprightly fashion, to the defiant “First World Crisis”, which mixes anglo-centric vocalising with swirling synth bubbles and a martial drumming. Short, sharp and sweet. The also previously released “In Comics Sans” is pure “Monkeys” , Danielle follows Laura’ vocal on the flute, Eamonn works his way through some interesting chord changes and the whole thing is progressive but in post-punk sense . Steve brings in a light keyboard touch towards the end and the guitars get a bit more intense which provides for a triumphant conclusion.
From here onwards in things get a little more, let’s say, heavy, with a focus on the north London suburb of Stoke Newington before settling down to the jazzy lounge vibe of “Pina Colada In A Can” which continues a degree of conceptual continuity from the “Death Jeans” album (i.e. Gin In A Can). However there are some interesting things going on here. The ominipresent cocktail party chat, the atonal middle eight sections and coda with viseceral synth sounds and off kilter guitar noises and the collapse into avant garde at the end are excellent. “47 Baked Potatoes” adopts dreamy french pop and indie chords with a Burt Bacharach sensibility to create one of the high-points of the album. Laura’s delicate vocal on this track is both a revelation and an affirmation of her abilties, both fragile and poignant.
“Confusing Instagram” builds on a riff in the best traditions of English “Underground” music, adds synths in the spirit of the pioneers of electronic music, and deals in stately repetition in hommage to the best of post-punk. The new golden age of social media is both hailed and parodied.
The revelation of the album comes via the closing two tracks. Monkeys in Love fans are in for a bit of a suprise with the rich and complex “Evil Boots” and the riff-tastic “Prendiamo Il Biscotto In Rappresaglia Seq 3”. Both tracks are stunning and offer a previously unheard side of of the MIL sound. The last track is part of a sequence of tunes, the first part of which was captured live recently and did not make it onto the album.
In summary, the Monkeys In Love team have delivered their best work to date, rich, varied, intriguing and exciting.
The band launch the album at Gullivers NQ, Manchester on Friday 6th February with special guests The Hamsters and Taser Puppets. One for your diary.
The album will be available via the bands website.