CD Black Monk Time [The Monks] (CD 4573652),
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Black Monk Time [The Monks]
1. Monk Time
2. Shut Up
3. Boys Are Boys And Girls Are Choice
4. Higgle-Dy - Piggle-Dy
5. I Hate You
6. Oh, How To Do Now
8. We Do Wie Du
9. Drunken Maria
10. Love Came Tumblin' Down
11. Blast Off!
12. That's My Girl
13. I Can't Get Over You
15. Love Can Tame The Wild
16. He Went Down To The Sea
17. Pretty Suzanne
18. Monk Chant [Live] - (live)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): LITA 042-2
The Monks: Gary Burger (vocals, guitar); Dave Day (banjo); Larry Clark (organ); Eddie Shaw (bass); Roger Johnston (drums).
Includes liner notes by Mike Stax.
One of the strangest artifacts of the 1960s, the Monks' sole album, BLACK MONK TIME essentially anticipates Blank Generation punk by about a decade. The music is a furious rush of minimalist drums (seemingly influenced by German marching bands), percussive electric banjo strums, fuzz guitar and feedback, and in-your-face lyrics expressing such tender sentiments as "I hate you" and "Shut up!" To be sure, the Monks will occasionally remind you of other rock bands of their day; L.A.'s Music Machine, for example, managed a somewhat similar mix of stop/start and fuzz. But the Monks did it first and with the most conviction; after all, these guys were serious enough about what they were doing to actually shave their heads and wear real Monks costumes. Needless to say, very few people grokked the concept back in 1966 (the LP was never released in America), but the album has since achieved genuine cult status. The 1997 CD version (on Henry Rollins' Infinite Zero imprint) thoughtfully includes one track from the BLACK MONK TIME demo, which lives up to its reputation as being even more deranged than the official album.
Rolling Stone (4/17/97, p.80) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...the most precociously extreme, exuberantly screwy platter in rock history....Imagine the stark, raving dada of the Fugs bumrushing the crisp la-di-da of '60s Brit-pop..."
Spin (p.81) - "Five discharged American GIs playing beat music in mid-'60s Germany....'Complication' remains the most credible antiwar song ever..."
Spin (5/97, p.112) - 8 (out of 10) - "...While Paul Revere & the Raiders were still headlining Portland bowling alleys, and before `(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone' had even been composed, the Monks were inventing a blitzkrieg bop far stronger than what soon followed..."
Q (1/02, p.59) - "...Speed-crazed GIs stationed in Germany take rock'n'roll down a truly mental tunnel of primal, repetitive mechanized beats..."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/01/04, p.52) - Included in Mojo's The 67 Lost Albums You Must Own! - "[B]rutal punk rants about hate and war just when the 'peace and love' vibe was really kicking in....[A] head-driller of a rock 'n' roll record.""
Mojo (Publisher) (p.51) - Ranked #25 in Mojo's "The 50 Most Out There Albums Of All Time" - "Their one LP is an artefact of almost supernatural prescience..."
Blender (Magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The Monks came armed with a minimalist racket, frantic social diatribes, and churlish attitude that presaged punk..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[I]n 1966, BLACK MONK TIME was beyond the cutting edge, and today it's easy to hear what made it so innovative and challenging."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.92) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[O]ne of the wildest LPs ever. The bass is set to overdrive, the portable keyboards set to stun with blank stabs and manic runs....Colossal."
Signal To Noise (magazine) (p.78) - "[T]he Monks' debut album perfectly fixes the forces of sexual frustration and anti-authoritarian opposition within a template bounded by insanely catchy melody, raw aggression, and unstoppable rhythm."
Uncut (magazine) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[E]verything is as loud as everything else: feedback, martial drums, fuzz bass and an overamped banjo that sounds like the forked end of a crowbar being scratched on sheet metal."
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