Monkey Mind Puts Out Debut Punk Album That Brings Fresh Hooks to Nostalgic Punk Era
4.3 out of 5 stars
That’s not to say that the album or band is lifting Green Day’s sound by any means. Lead singer Lee Wright just happens to have been around the punk/rock scene a long time having played with Crashed Out for years (as guitarist and backing vocals) so there may be some natural tendencies to vocalize in the same way at times as Billie Joe Armstrong. I would say that Green Day hasn't been this good for like 30 years though. So, yeah, there's that too.
He is joined in Monkey Mind by Michael “Olga” Algar from The Toy Dolls (playing bass and backup vocals in this band), and Martin Paynton from The Panic Report on drums.
This U.K.-based punk band might be one of the best pop-punk bands from outside the U.S. that I have heard in quite a while. Not to say that punk bands are only good in the U.S., it just seems that there are fewer and fewer good NEW punk bands coming from anywhere else these days.
The album starts with two bangers right out of the gate with “Mr. Wright” and “There’s Something About Lauren” that will have you immediately hyped with energy. I personally think “There’s Something About Lauren” may be the best song on the album, but that’s a tough choice, and I may contradict myself by the end of this review.
The musicianship in this band is quite insane for a punk band. With Wright ripping out pinch harmonics and guitar solos at will, Paynton doing some insane drumming throughout, and Algar punching the basslines to bring the feel of the band, I think anyone will be happy with this album if they enjoy punk music.
They have been teasing songs for this album for about 3 years, but they finally got the album released just in time for the end of 2021.
There are so many songs that have anthemic punk rock choruses on this album too. “Get Rid Ov Him” stands out in that regard and so does “Local Lass.”
“Local Lass” is definitely the most crowd-friendly song on the album, in my opinion, and for the Brit fans out there, I feel like that’s a pub-sing-along at every pub in the U.K.
“Small Man” is a funny song about meeting a guy with small man syndrome which is the concept that short men have big egos and have to fight people to prove how tough they are.
They have songs about totally random, pretty humorous subject matters like “Buddy Love (A Spaniel’s Tail)” about a pet dog. Hey, who said you can’t sing about your damn dog?
The album ends with “Ice Man” which is a tribute to Wim Hof who is a Dutch motivational speaker and perhaps freak of nature as he is known for being able to withstand sub-zero temperatures for long periods of time. Why they picked him to be the subject of the song, I don’t really understand, but the song is quite good.
I definitely recommend this album, and I have a feeling that these guys will be making a bigger splash in 2022 on the heels of this album.