jungle sessionsIt’s a re-issue from the mid-‘90s but most of us missed it the first time around. The Monsters are from Switzerland and that put them at a serious disadvantage in places like the USA, where they did attempt to break only to find they were swimming against the tide, no tsunami, of grunge.

he Monsters are right up there with the likes of The Mummies, Thee Headcoats and a handful of others setting a benchmark for trashy lo-fi rock and roll. That’ll become obvious with even a cursory listen to “The Jungle Noise Recordings”, now in expanded form with extra tracks.This is perfect junkyard fodder.

This album found The Monsters undergoing ch-ch-changes, swapping upright bass for electric and turning up the distortion factor. The guttural, scarred vocals of Beat Man are central to the sound of The Monsters. He can croak and howl with the best (“Primitive Man”) or croon all Lux-like, which you can hear on “Lonesome Town”, the Ricky Nelson cover that they both mined. Beat Man doesn’t suffer the same complete mental breakdown but he sounds like he might be asking Lux for the analyst’s business card.

“Searching” is a Monsters classics. It swings off an amphetamine rhythm and Beat Man’s buzzsaw chording. A 2min26sec rollercoaster ride.

Staggering through the garage can be turning. So many brands that think they’re something original. The great thing is that The Monsters don’t try. They mix it up and put it through their own stylistic blender.

There’s “The Pot”, a drug song set to a shuffle rhythm, and “Rock Around The Tombstone”, a rockabilly-tinged hop where Beat Man sings like he’s singing the chorus to himself. There’s a white noise bleeder like “Barbara” that barely cracks the one-minute mark before drowning in its own pool of reverb and angst.

“Last Sick Surf Flick” switches the sound to Trash Surf Lite. “Mummie Fucker Blues” is a seriously disturbed swamp blues tune. “Nightclub” is the sort of distorted intro’ romp that you’ll never hear in one of those places.

“The Jungle Noise Recordings” are as trashy as hell and stupidly so. That should be enough of recommendation for you.


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