Review : Thumpermonkey – Electricity

2018 is fast approaching and with it brings the promise of Thumpermonkey’s forthcoming LP ‘Make Me Young, Etc’ but to bridge the gap before its arrival the band have very generously gifted us their latest EP ‘Electricity’. Four wonderfully adventurous tunes spanning a twenty minutes play time to quench the thirst of any who love a musical challenge, an aural enigma and a band who just sound like damn no one else.

The concept of the said EP seems to be based on the introduction of technologies upon ancient civilisations and the misadventures thereof stemming from an illustration which guitarist and vocalist Michael Woodman chanced upon for the book ‘Babylon Electrified’ written in the 19th century. Each stage of the tale is told with their original, eccentrically progressive style and despite its short length has an amazing amount of depth and content to explore.

Opener ‘Garmonbozia’ starts softly with a guitar melody over which the vocals begin the story unabashedly rising to falsetto before the drums and bass join in with the discordant rhythm like a mix of Oceansize and Mr Bungle. The song rises and falls (very relevant to the later lyrics) in dynamic and introduces the repeated phrase ‘Your coming out of the dark, you come in pieces’, which encompasses the bulk of the tune.

Lead single ‘Tzizimime’ may be a beast to pronounce but its the most easy on the ear for a new listener. A short, distorted, twisted monster of a tune which gives a fair nod to label mates Amplifier at its heavier segments whilst keeping its own original themes prevalent. I can see this being an exceptional live favourite! ‘This is not a fire’ follows and has some beautiful bass grooves along its disjointed path. With a main riff that the Queens of The Stone Age will be kicking themselves for missing this is my favourite track by far as it explores many feels and emotions over its five minute run time.

Closing this brief but beautiful collection is the melancholy ‘Woadscrivened’, a much more laid back and refined piece which makes up for its simplicity (in comparison to what has come before) with a wonderfully threatening build. There are some great plays between Rael Jones’s keys, Michaels soaring vocals and Ben Wren’s drums during the more built up parts as they combine to great effect. As the song fades we are left wishing away the rest of the year to bring forth the new album.

It is a rare thing to find a band such as Thumpermonkey, a band which seems to write and create music straight from their hearts without following or falling into footsteps of their influences or peers. This EP, does not make for easy listening, it is eclectic and jarring in places yet soothing and familiar in others and that’s exactly what we want from these guys. Each song hints of its depths and the complexity of the writing behind each piece, a lyric gives a nod to the music and vice versa it really is something which feels strangely fresh and exciting and will continue to do so for a long while to come.

Grab your copy here: https://thumpermonkey.bandcamp.com/album/electricity

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