August 21, 2018

The Monkeywrench - Gabriel's Horn (2008)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Garage Rock, Punk Rock
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
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© 2008 Birdman Records
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
Apparently garage blues supergroup Monkeywrench are operating on a unique eight-year plan: their debut album appeared in 1992, Electric Children showed up in 2000, and their third set, Gabriel's Horn, arrived in stores in 2008. Given that Monkeywrench take plenty of time off between records -- so Mark Arm and Steve Turner can work with Mudhoney, Tim Kerr can produce tons of great punk bands, Tom Price can play with the Kings of Rock and look after his health (he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2003), and Martin Bland can do whatever great Australian drummers do in their spare time -- it's surprising that Gabriel's Horn sounds as solid and unified as it is, but this album never succumbs to the Side Project syndrome of second-rate material and second-class enthusiasm. Arm's vocals are as raunchy and attitudinal as anything he's snarled out since Mudhoney's My Brother the Cow, and the jagged three-way guitar clatter summoned up by Arm, Kerr, and Price cuts like a rusty switchblade and sinks this glorious noise in deep. Meanwhile, Turner on bass and Bland on drums maintain these songs on the good foot and stay in the pocket while keeping things as dirty as they need to be. The inclusion of a pair of slightly meandering experimental tracks lowers this album's batting average a bit, and the presence of several covers suggests these guys didn't spend those eight years writing material, but the original songs are uniformly raunchy, taut, and hard-hitting, the covers are chosen wisely and attacked with loving force (who else would tackle the 13th Floor Elevators, George Jones, and the Flesh Eaters on one disc?). The end result is a righteous blast and a more than worthy third chapter in the history of Monkeywrench. Gabriel's Horn is potent enough to make you wish 2016 would hurry up and get here already.

tags: the monkeywrench, monkey wrench, gabriels horn, 2008, flac,


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