Sunday, 28 December 2008

Apologies and 100 Monkeys

Sorry for recent neglect and lack of end of year lists – I’ve been in India, and then it was Christmas and...Well, there just hasn’t been much time.  This has been a great year for music and next year seems just as promising so that’s exciting. If I don’t blog again before next year (agh, that’s scary – where is time disappearing?), then I hope you all have a great new year.

So anyway, back on topic, I might as well admit with some embarrassment the reason for my discovering this band – the film, ‘Twlight’.  Yes, yes; I know.  All you need to know is that this band contains the guy who plays Jasper the vampire – Jackson Rathbone - as well as comrades Ben Graupner and Ben Johnson.  They are called 100monkeys, and what is perhaps most interesting about them is their innovative policy towards recording, as summed up in their MySpace ‘about me’ section:

Everything is done in one take, one track. No editing…We make up all the words as we go along. We're not responsible.”

 With that in mind, it’s not surprising how bizarre some of their music is.  It is to be expected that some of the songs will be rambling and meandering due to their improvised nature, but there is a wild amount of variety in their sound.  They cover everything from weird murmuring and chanting over spooky chords (‘Wild Blue Yonder’) to scuzzy guitars and growling, frantic Cage The Elephant-esque vocals (‘Robot Timberwolves’).  And when you think you’ve just about sussed their sound they throw you with Louis Armstrong-style croaky vocals and jazzy beats (‘Wasteland 2’ - I wonder if this means they are T.S. Eliot fans?).  Then you find them on YouTube and they’re singing jaunty little acoustic numbers and you decide attempting to analyze and define their style is pointless as their music seems to span more or less everything in terms of genre.  If you don't like one song, the chances are you'll like another one, so diverse is their sound:

100 Monkeys - 'Scientists' (video a must-watch for the sunglasses alone)

Don't be put off by the copious fangirls just talking about "Jasper" - the entire band come together to form these strange tunes, interplaying well in the unusual improvised environment and the music isn't what you'd perhaps expect.  As of yet the music doesn't quite seem fully formed but with rumours of an approaching EP hopefully their eccentric style will be tightened and produce one of the most inventive sounds of today.  They're worth a listen for their recording policies at any rate:

Photo credited to their MySpace page as I can't find the photographer's name  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about people only liking 100Monkeys because of Jackson being in Twilight, and many of my friends do NOT like the band because they dont like Jasper. This is a shame as their music ROCKS and they should be awarded. Lots of medals. They're AWESOME!!!!