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Monkey Paw

Hating You Is So Easy

(Four Alarm)

My mother always told me “If you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything at all.” Well…

Fortunately for me, reviewers are allowed to say not so nice things about the bands they review. Actually, to say Hating You Is So Easy is totally without redeeming qualities wouldn’t be totally accurate.

Foul and most certainly intended to be insulting, Monkey Paw goes directly for the jugular right off the bat with “Fuck Your Mother.” Pretty straightforward, underground alternative rock, the music is fairly catchy and shows a lot of talent by the Chicago trio. Even lead singer Eric Amir Hemmat’s vocals are enjoyable and range from almost hypnotic harmony to straight-up punk style screaming.

To be quite honest, it is the unlisted tracks on this album that leave an unpleasant taste in my mouth and dropped the rating on this release by Monkey Paw. Perplexing is that even “Fuck Your Mother” isn’t as offensive and palpably infuriating as the unlisted tracks (6, 15 and 16). It’s hard to say for sure if Track 6 was staged and intended to invoke that sort of response or if it was “accidentally” caught on tape during a recording session like Track 15 purportedly was according to the credits on the inside cover. In keeping with Monkey Paw’s irreverence, Track 16 is brimming over with obscenity and sounds like a bad cross between hip-hop, rap and reggae. To make matters worse the vocals aren’t even in time with the jazz-like background music and sound like drunken or drug-induced ramblings of Hemmat.

Certainly not for the thin-skinned or sensitive eared, Hating You Is So Easy is really easy to hate if you listen at all closely to the lyrics, but the music itself is poppy, bright and fun. Unlisted tracks aside, I enjoyed the dichotomy the album offers; the music is upbeat while the words are disconsolate. Almost makes me wish I had a pet monkey; I wonder how it’d react to Monkey Paw.

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