Nearly a year on from its original limited release, North London’s ‘math garage’ trio MONKEY ISLAND are to relaunch LUXE et REDUX in March, prior an exhibition in May of singer-guitarist PETE BENNETT’s paintings organised by and at the invitation of Kentish garage-punk luminary Billy Childish.
Rightly praised by John Robb in his essential text Death To Trad Rock, on LUXE et REDUX, MONKEY ISLAND bring together the low-end production aesthetics of 60s garage-blues, the unholy riffs of 70s metal, the edgy funk and breakneck rhythms of 80s artpunk, and the bawdy lasciviousness of 16th Century tavern songs. All across 16 rampant tracks in little more than half-an-hour.
Emerging from the North London garage scene in the mid 90’s, the MONKEY ISLAND’s first few singles were released by early champion John Robb, gaining plaudits in The Guardian, Melody Maker and Metal Hammer and airplay from Mark Radcliffe, Steve Lamacq, Rob da Bank and the great John Peel.
A self-produced third album pulled more mainstream press on board with glowing Kerrang! and NME reviews, and was acclaimed outside the UK in Italy where, several tours later, they have a phenomenal underground reputation.
A fiercely independent attitude and a constant reinvention has kept the band alive where contemporaries have fallen and after their third album, Bennett reconstituted the band as a fresher more feral outfit reminiscent of their first album with two new collaborators, whipsmart drummer Sam St Leger and rigidly grooving bassist Andrew Speakman.
Longtime fan Tim Cedar (Part Chimp) offered to record the band at his Drop Out Studio in Camberwell and a single day’s work south of the river reaped dividends with 16 brand new tracks to good old-fashioned tape, the result being latest album – LUXE ET REDUX.
Tuesday 21 December The Lock Tavern, Camden NW1
What Monkey Island have done is to take the form and completely deconstruct it..they’ve added their own spit and polish and created something wholly new. The end result? Something lean, mean and utterly magnificent. R2 magazine (****)
..maybe their imaginative guitar filth will finally get the audience it deserves. A brilliant band. John Robb
MONKEY ISLAND – LUXE et REDUX on IMPRINT RECORDS distributed by CARGO
Release date: 21 March 2011