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Easter Monkeys

Splendor of Sorrow

(Smog Veil; US: 17 Nov 2009; UK: Import)

Birthing the likes of such groups as the Electric Eels, Pere Ubu, the Dead Boys, and Rocket from the Tombs, Cleveland, Ohio, is the homeland to some of the most innovative post-punk scenes America had to offer in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. However, you really have to know your Forest City rock history to be hip to Easter Monkeys. Formed in 1981 by former Electric Eels guitarist Jim Jones, they recorded an album shortly after getting together entitled Splendor of Sorrow. But the 1983 debut did not get officially released until 1990 on the small Hit and Run label. This most excellent deluxe edition of Splendor from Cleveland’s indelible Smog Veil imprint comes with a mighty sum of bonus live material, including a particularly visceral rendition of “Cheap Heroin”, a track from the 1982 compilation Cleveland Confidential that for a while marked the Monkeys’ only official release before they called it quits in 1984, as well as a rough audience capture of a 1982 Agora Theatre show on DVD. Any fan of the secret history of Cleveland punk will want to look into picking up this essential version of Splendor of Sorrow.

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Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ, Billboard.com, SPIN.com, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY, Paperthinwalls.com, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and Barnesandnoble.com among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at http://www.irtmag.com.


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