Ever wondered what instrumental prog stoner rock sounded liked? Then here you go.
Welcome to the four piece Swiss band Monkey3. Formed in 2001, they began jamming with a mutual respect and influence from legendary bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
Two years after the release of Beyond the Black Sky, Monkey3 have given their fans a spectacularly crafted record. Vocals may not always be needed when you have emotion-driven instruments and a plethora of flowing riffs which assist in making minds drift away from reality.
The opening track Icarus stands at 15 minutes long, which rather surprised this impatient reviewer – but it wasn’t long before I relaxed into a more pleasurable state. Icarus, as you probably know, is the guy who made wings out of wax and flew too close to the sun. Never try this at home – it will never end well.
Track two is more upbeat. It’s very much a tune that would not be lost on a ’70s TV cop show from the States. This soon changes to a heavier distorted riff, along with the bass line kicking in. The tune feels like it is a two parter; one moment I’m sitting in a barber’s chair waiting for them to sort out their equipment – then it moves into a psychedelic mood where the mirrors bend and move around, the lights change colour and out come the dancers wearing multi-coloured onesies. It has such a unique vibe to it that it makes me want to be there, in that moment.
Track four Pintao is one of the best tracks on here, the beautiful tune brought out by a style that would befit the ’70s cult classic The Warriors, were the gang are trying to get back to Coney Island. Circles is the ending of this six track album and what a way to finish, with a sombre ambient mood at the start, the band then smash their way in with a powerful guitar solo which has a Rage Against The Machine feel to it. What a way to end this album.
The instrumentalist geniuses that are Monkey3 have placed something unique out there, an eclectic mix of ‘70s themed movies to operatic instrumentals, combined with enough psychedelia to let you drift away.
This was my first time listening to the four piece stoner crew, and it proved to me how much of an effect powerful musical instruments can have on human emotions.