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July 13, 2024

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"-Changito!" (Deluxe Records/Monkey Music)

By: Alex Steininger

Hailing from San Francisco, California, Monkey is a seven-piece, traditional ska band. Playing danceable music with heaps of fun, you'll pop in this CD and automatically want to start dancing. On their debut CD, they serve up fourteen tight tracks, and then some.

The CD starts out with "Bed of Fire." And that's exactly what it is. You'll immediately start dancing, as the fiery guitar licks your feet, burning them until you start to move. The keyboard will soothe you over, relaxing your body, and give you a push to dance. The drums will softly tap in the background, as your feet tap with them. Pretty soon your feet will get more and more energetic, as the bass will help push you out on the dance floor. But the horns will be the icing on the cake. With their soulful, delightful sensation running through your body you'll get up and start to sweat. Now that you're dancing, Monkey's job is to keep you doing just that. "Bomb" ensures you stay dancing. It starts out with some weird drums and a breezy keyboard, but pretty soon they pull it altogether, and jump into another delicious treat. The vocals are very soothing, adding to the music. Soft, yet abrasive enough to keep the music powerful, they lend a lot of heat to the music. As if any heat was needed, especially with their sensational horn section. Never letting you down, the horn section always comes through with something good and meaty to fill you up with. "Bachelor" starts out with a very groovin' bass, and then the organ comes in with some nice sweeps of breezy and enchanting melodies. Pretty soon the horns, the drums, and the guitar jump in and you find yourself emerged in the fun. As the band plays away, their intensity and passion rub off on you and you feel great about the music as well. When a band sounds like they're having lots of fun, the listener usually extracts a lot of the fun and uses it for himself. And that's exactly what happens here. The listener hears the fun music coming from his stereo, and feeds off of it, dancing and smiling with the music. The music is too hot and steamy not to enjoy, so the only thing you can do is listen and dance with it. "The Mummy!" is a nice instrumental. It starts out with a weird, horror-story feeling to it, as it if could be a song in a b-grade horror film. Then the tone changes, and the dancing begins. Occasionally there are horror-shrieks and moans, but they just add to the fun atmosphere created by the music. "No Color, No Power" closes out the CD with a political statement. Battling racism, they bring their message of unity to the surface, spread over a bed of highly danceable music. Sit back and absorb the message, and then listen to it again, this time spending time on the dance floor. You'll enjoy it, believe me! Oh, and watch out for the hidden track...

Monkey creates passionate, fun music which will give you many hours of dancing pleasure. Listen to the album as a relaxer, or listen to it as a jump start for a hot night, filled with dancing and fun. Either way, you win with this CD. I'll give this album an A.

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