Munkey Juice - Fatty Arbuckle's Coke Bottle
Emily Tartanella 03/04/2006
Some bands make it big in one fell swoop; others strive for years and finally get their accolades. Some bands just keep working at it, be it for love of the music or a sheer stubborn determination. Clearly Munkey Juice fall into this last category.
Because while the initial response to Fatty Arbuckle's Coke Bottle is “oh, interesting debut,” the correct response should be “this is someone's eighth album?!” Yes, Munkey Juice has been playing since 1995, and since their establishment in Ohio they have released eight full-length albums and four EPs. And frankly, this is a startlingly discouraging sign: Munkey Juice are simply stuck in a rut.
Of course, it doesn't help when your press release urges listeners to ignore your band name, but if Arctic Monkeys can make it big, clearly moronic titles can't stop a band from success. No, it's the sheer tedium of Munkey Juice's work. There are certainly some intriguing parts here - “Cob Web Mind” is superbly malicious, and the poppier “Been Had” has an irresistible melody. “Hate Me Love Me” features some good guitar work, even with its incomprehensible vocals. But the majority of this CD is typical hard rock with just a touch of mystery about it. Munkey Juice strike me as a band still taping up their Queens of the Stone Age posters and using the word “awesome” in excess. Lyrics like “She smiles like an angel/She rocks like a devil” aren't helping to shake this opinion.
But “Dog Without a Bone” is tedious and repetitive, just as “Lady Luck” has some remarkably trite lyrics (and an unfortunate metal aftertaste), and let's not even deal with “Intolerable Noise.” Ultimately this might have made for a nice debut or even sophomore release, but for an 11-year-old band it smacks of laziness and self-congratulation.