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Artist Spotlight: Thumpermonkey Lives!

Who are these guys? They are awesome.

That's a direct quote from the notes I made whilst listening to some new music recently. Doing this blog has enabled me to hear all kinds of interesting music, and occasionally I discover an artist that really blows me away. In this case, "these guys" are Thumpermonkey (also known as Thumpermonkey Lives! on their latest releases - I'm not sure why the name changed), a British band that absolutely defies categorization. As of January 2, 2008, all of their music can be downloaded freely from the Internet Archive.

Their music is primarily progressive rock-based, twisting and turning its way through all kinds of tempo and time signature changes; where it will end up from one minute to the next is anyone's guess as you're taken on an epic journey through musical lands both familiar and unfamiliar. For example, I think that fans of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle will love this band; the vocals in particular show a strong Mike Patton influence, and the music has the same out of control, chaotic feeling that was often present in the music of those bands. "Shchrodinger's Cat Lives!", in particular, sounds like a mutated resurrection of Faith No More's "Surprise! You're Dead!" Other parts of the album remind me of Tool (the instrumental section in "Slug City"), Fates Warning (the main riff in "Asymptote", although it is much groovier than anything I've ever heard from Fates Warning), and Steve Vai (some harmonized guitars near the end of "My Reality is Stronger"). None of this is meant to say that the music is unoriginal in any way; I am merely trying to describe it in terms of music that I am familiar with so that people who are also familiar with those artists may have some idea of what to expect. Thumpermonkey Lives! have definitely managed to forge their own sound, which is something that's not always easy to do.

Bring Me Sun for Breakfast is the latest release from Thumpermonkey Lives!, and so far it is my favourite. But their older albums and EPs are well worth checking out as well, and it is amazing to hear how far they have progressed in such a short time. Links to all of their releases are included below. From what I've heard so far, Thumpermonkey Lives! will definitely be a band to watch out for; I'm already looking forward to hearing more from them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Happy listening!

Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Inmates [EP - 2001]
Alpha Romeo [EP - 2003]
Pigheart [LP - 2004]
Chap With The Wings, Five Rounds Rapid [LP - 2006]
Bring Me Sun For Breakfast [LP - 2007]

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