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Thumpermonkey - Sleep Furiously CD (album) cover



Crossover Prog

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4 stars The amount of Progressive music and the suggestions at Progarchives site became so wide, that there wouldn't be a chance for me to discover this relatively unknown band (or let's say, known by smaller circles, and released in a small independent lable). The opportunity and exposure became from the ProgStreaming site, which is THE place right now to discover new and rewarding progressive music, and I'm so thankful to Markween Meeuws, the site owner, for that. What caught my attention was simply the artwork, which apprized for something fresh, something unique and different.

While listening to this relatively new-generation group, I've been reminded to some references. This happenstance, non obligatory list holds bands in the vein of THE MARS VOLTA, SLEEPYTIME, CARDIACS and OCEANSIZE, which to most of them I am not listening on a regular basis. This band music is somewhat in between all these influences, but needless to say, with a unique style and voice of their own. The sound and instrumentation is guitar-based, hard-rocking. But what may seem to be at first as a bit un-varied, one direction set of songs, reveals itself later as a rich and complex album.

The songs flow moves from aggressive, noisy ones, to quieter and calmer toward the end, without loosing the edge and tension. It opens with the 'hit' (or might be, in a better world than ours) 'When scouts go bad' and continues with the noisier and more complex 'Direct'. This track got spoken lyrics upon a strong, complex guitar-bass riffage. It calms for a quite part, than blasts brilliantly into the turbulent chorus. This is my favourite track of this album. The next song, 'Wheezyboy', is the most catchy song here, with not so odd time signatures as in the rest of the album. A nice, catchy melody, and tinkle, chunky guitar-bass, are the components of this song.

Examples for calmer songs are 'the Rethorician', the only song that features acoustic guitars instead of the casual electric ones, and 'Own', a romantic song in sort of waltz feel with guitar picking (that actually sound more like a piano for me).

The before-last track, 'Blackout', got an interesting style changing: It starts in an old jazzy guitar feel, but soon turn into a dark, heavy background, with spoken vocals. The chorus, and the instrumental passages, are definitely progressive, with its interesting chord progression, and dramatic delivery.

Before I finish this review, I'll compliment for the very good vocals from Michal Woodman, and excellent playing by all. But also complain about the insufficient inner information, which holds the album lyrics in a very small, completely unreadable font, unless you use a magnifying glass. And it's quite pity, because the lyrics deal with everyone's life nowadays, relationships, etc. Albeit the lyrics could be found at the Bandcamp sight, I find it irritate because if the band choose to publish the lyrics on the inner notes, it should be done properly.

I hope I will find time to listen to their previous albums, fully featured in their Bandcamp site. Even physical CD's are available for now through that site. I really recommend on this band, especially for those of us who are into a complex, challenging, yet hard-rocking guitar-based music.

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Posted Friday, December 13, 2013 | Review Permalink

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