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Monkeyjunk

To Behold

(Stony Plain; US: 21 Jun 2011; UK: 21 Jun 2011)

Monkeyjunk is a Canadian blues-rock trio built around Steve Marriner’s vocals, guitars and harmonica, with more-than-capable contributions from Tony D on more guitars and vocals and Matt Sobb on percussion. Although it plows the familiar blues-rock groove of, say, The Black Keys, the band puts its own stamp on rocking tunes like “You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Gonna Leave)” and “You Don’t Know”, with its snaky guitar/harp line. The best tune on the album is easily “Let Her Down”, a swampy, classically heartbroken blues lament that Marriner delivers with complete conviction. Not all the tunes are great, but the musicianship is solid throughout and there are enough standout cuts to make this album worth a listen for any fans of hard-charging, rootsy music.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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