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Album Review: Sunken Monkey – Party Scars

Artist: Sunken Monkey
Album: Party Scars
Number of Tracks: 13
Release Date: 6 October 2014

Having released their self-titled début in 2009, Sunken Monkey decided to celebrate by getting incredibly drunk and writing an album about it, which is due to stumble into the spotlight on 6 October this year.

From the outset, Party Scars is determined to stay swaying on its own in the corner, away from the mainstream crowd that currently gets splashed across magazine covers.

Immediately, there are a cluster of obvious influences make themselves known including early Blink-182 and NOFX. The opening bars to This Town’s Too Big (For The Both Of Us) is hugely reminiscent of the turn of the century and doesn’t at any point let go of the rough edged pop-punk structure. Other parts of the album provide brief, semi-metallic punctuation now and again but this remains largely unexplored.

Can you hear the Blink-ness below?:

When it comes to vocals, chances to escape the 00s are kept to a minimum as the NOFX/Rise Against factors come into play. Opting for a slightly diluted McIlrath (Rise Against) rasp instead of a DeLonge (Blink-182) whine, this makes for an interesting experience as we get an admirably relentless punk strain earnestly addressing unpleasant and contemporary issues. However, these largely seem to revolve around “missing” the kitchen sink last night instead of social injustice and global warming.

Whether the concept strikes you as fun or a little juvenile initially, it will sadly wear thin as 13 tracks of very similar content struggle to find different ways to describe the many Party Scars gained by Sunken Monkey since their last release.

Tracklist
1. This Town’s Too Big (For The Both Of Us)
2. That’s What She Said
3. Don’t Dodge A Game Of Dares
4. To Pissed (In 60 Seconds)
5. Party Scars
6. Too Old For This Shit (Riggs)
7. More Beer Than Blood
8. Lookin’ Ain’t F*****’
9. Red Raw Stump
10. After All
11. Pissing In The Wind
12. Never Look Back
13. ‘Til Death Do Us Party

It’s truly no exaggeration to describe this flaw as sad because there is a sonic integrity that just belongs to the conviction with which the band peddle their quick-to-anger style. This is exhibited especially well during 0 To Pissed (In 60 Seconds). The quick-fire chugging of guitars is layered liberally by the joyful chorus of four men shouting about the fast life and, quite frankly, they’re having a fantastic time doing it.

This combination of bravado and enthusiasm does come up trumps a number of times, the album’s opener and Lookin’ Ain’t F*****’ possessing a signature surge that comes from rising harmonies and crunching chords soaked in last night’s beer. Have a listen to the album that started this winning combination below:


Even in the most violent of sonic booze-ups, there is always time for an acoustic moment. In this case, ‘Til Death Do Us Party takes on the role of the last man standing as it wraps up this 38 minutes of bluntly hurled obscenities and beer bottles in a surprisingly sentimental, minimalist warble.

It’s a fitting end to such a mishmash of an homage to pop-punk. Overall it leaves you with a sense of having initially enjoyed something that then left an unidentified taste in your mouth that’s turned a bit stale now. The whole experience is nicely summarise by a softly chuckling voice at the end of the album that murmurs, ”Scrappy as f*** but that’ll do.”

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About The Author

Currently a 3rd year Journalism student at the University of the West of England. Real life just around the corner and getting excited about new Journalism opportunities! The more music involved, the better.

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