FAME Review: MonkeyJunk - To Behold
 
MonkeyJunk - To Behold

To Behold

MonkeyJunk

Stony Plain Records - SPCD1356

Available from Stony Plain Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)

Gotta love that name, and though these cats have been around for only three years, they hang together so well and perform so much from the gut that they can't help but win awards and smoke the competition, acing the Maple Blues Award for best new band only six months after a prehensile inception. Then, at the world famous International Blues Challenge, one of the toughest competitions on the globe, they came in third, standing atop a literal mountain of talent from everyfuckingwhere: NorthAm to Poland to Croatia to Ozzieland and beyond. Not bad for a buncha newbies, hm? Well, when you lay an ear to their hot, sticky, greasy, backwoods folk blues sound—yeah, even when they're being alley cat slick, as in the funky You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)—you'll understand. Hell, the Stones themselves would bliss out on that cut…circa their Jammin' With Edward period.

There's even a great slice of the 70s Motown sound blent with later editions of the favored Chicago mutation (Mother's Finest comes to mind in sections of Right Now, as well as ZZ Top and John Mayall), the heterogeneous whole refusing to leave the era, sitting fat and happy like a reefer-soaked memory of better times and earthier pleasures. Tony D plays a great soul-rock-psyche axe while Steve Mariner sings the passionate leads (Let Her Down will send chills up your spine), then backs him up on more six-stringed gee-tars before yanking in keyboards while Matt Sobb nails down the rhythm section solo (no bass guitars allowed, y'all, an unusual move) in understated but keenly nuanced skins alert to every shift in emphasis and tone. Ah, but catch that last cut, The Marrinator, where Steve-o opens up on harmonica, and, hoo-eee!, can that muthah play! Starting out athwart Tony's acoustic soundbox, the song crashes into its full blood bout a third of the way in and just goes to town, booogie-ing' to beat the sun to the horizon. Thus, is To Behold an auspicious debut? Oh hell yes, Mortimer, and then some! Trust me on dat.

Track List:

  • Mother's Crying (Diteodoro / Marriner / Sobb)
  • You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave) (Hank Williams Sr.)
  • Right Now (Diteodoro / Marriner / Sobb)
  • Let Her Down (Diteodoro / Marriner / Sobb)
  • With These Hands (Marriner)
  • You Don't Know (Diteodoro / Marriner / Sobb / Friesen)
  • While You are Mine (Diteodoro / Marriner / Sobb / Friesen)
  • Running in the Rain (Diteodoro / Marriner / Sobb / Friesen)
  • All about You (Diteodoro)
  • The Marrinator (Diteodoro / Marriner / Sobb)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

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Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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