You may recall that not too long ago I conducted an interview with my Inner Self when I reviewed The Wes Hollywood Show’s latest album. It wasn’t a pretty affair. The general consensus was that the album was rather uninteresting and only had a couple of good tunes. At the end of the interview, my Inner Self asked if it could come back sometime in the future when I was reviewing an album I actually liked. Well, that time has come. So sit back and enjoy me rambling with myself as “we” discuss Monkey to the Monster’s fine new album 1/3 Less Fun.
JT Well here we are again. I kept my promise to you. I’ve found a great new album and decided to have you back on board to help me review it.
IS – Thanks so much. I was wondering if I’d ever get another shot at PopMatters glory! So we’re reviewing 1/3 Less Fun by Monkey to the Monster, right?
JT That’s correct. I quite like this one a lot. What did you think about it?
IS Well, yes it’s absolutely wonderful. Much better than some of that other stuff we’ve been listening to lately. These guys are from Portland, aren’t they? You like that other Portland artist, Nate Ashley, I believe.
JT – Yes I do, and I plan to review his latest release here as well, but getting back to this album, I quite like the vocal talents and guitar work of Hilary Spray here.
IS Yes! She has a wonderful voice. It really makes the beautiful pop of songs like “No. 1” and “Head Down” some of the catchiest indie rock we’ve heard this year, no?
JT Exactly what I was singing. I really love her inflection and phrasing in “Head Down”. That’s gotta be one of the best singles-worthy tunes I’ve heard well, all year just as you said.
IS And the guitar solo in that is trippy as well! Great stuff. But we mustn’t forget the other vocalist in the group, Aaron Santigian.
JT Right, he plays guitar, too. I especially enjoy his song “Atari”. Bring back a lot of good memories for those of us who were around at that time.
IS Yes, and both Hilary and Aaron sing together on the most excellent “Out of Underground”.
JT Did you just say “most excellent”?
IS I did! Too much Bill and Ted over the weekend, you know.
JT Sorry to hear that. What else do we like on here? I know there’s another killer cut on the album.
IS I believe it’s “The Point”.
JT Ah yes, now that is a great song. Beautiful singing by Hilary on that one. Superb guitar lines and rhythms, too. She really knows how to sing them, doesn’t she?
IS Indeed. In fact, Monkey to the Monster is so great a major label should pick them up. They’re not like some of these bands we listen to that have a bit of potential and ARE on major labels and shouldn’t be!
JT So true. Hey, you know I also love the drumming of Rick Barry here.
IS And what about bassist Loni Jo Lane?
JT She’s great as well! But I believe they have a new bassist named Cheryl Hooper.
IS Oh yes, that’s right. Hey, what about that song sung by Aaron? “Slide”.
JT Oh damn, I almost forgot about that one! Another great tune. He can really sing the hell out of a good pop rock tune as well.
IS You know, I think we’re beginning to sound like a couple of silly girls here discussing this album.
JT You felt that, too, eh? All right, well maybe we should just wrap this one up and tell everyone out there to just go buy this one right now.
IS Sounds like a good plan. You know, I almost had a little more fun last time around when we were bashing Wes Hollywood’s album.
JT You just can’t be pleased, can you?
IS No, you certainly can’t.