Thursday 27 July 2023


We all love a touch of raucousness in our rock, there is nothing better for getting the blood flowing than hearing jagged riffs with an element of crunch and bite to them, especially if said riffs are backed by a hard driving rhythm section Things can get even better if the band laying down those raucous riffs and forceful rhythms also possess a singer with a voice that can do those dynamics justice. You may now be thinking where can we find a band who meets all the above criteria without taking a deep dive into Spotify, Bandcamp and other music related  sites. This is where Desert Psychlist comes in, we have done all the hard work for you, the band you are looking for are Jukebox Monkey and they have just released their second full length album "Smiles Becoming Teeth

Regular readers of Desert Psychlist may remember us getting a little frothy at the mouth over Jukebox Monkey's previous release "Grey Skies Red Planet" an album that mixed touches of Californian sneakers and cargo shorts desert rock with a beefy dollop of South East England Doc Martin's and jeans hard rock, grunge and metal. Those readers will be pleased to know that for "Smiles Becoming Teeth" Jukebox Monkey have not roamed too far away from the blueprint that informed their debut. What has changed though is how far these guys have come in regard to their songcraft and musicianship, "Smiles Becoming Teeth" is a much more rounded affair than its predecessor with subtle colours and  textures to be found even on the most gnarliest of its songs. If that last statement has you worrying that Jukebox Monkey might have lost some of their raucous edge by incorporating these colours and textures into their sonic attack you needn't stress as songs like the opening title track "Smiles Becoming Teeth", "Like 1973" and "Fountainhead" are as gnarled and nasty as anything you might find on their debut album but possess an added element of light and shade, an element that was not so much missing from their previous effort as not used to its full potential. Some might argue that adding this element to their sound has seen Jukebox Monkey's leaning towards a slightly more mainstream rock sound, and in some respects that is true, the music inhabiting "Smiles Becoming Teeth" does in places possess a similar anthemic vibe to much that populates mainstream rock radio (not a bad thing) but it is a sound that also possesses all the bite and growl we denizens of the underground rock scene thrive on, basically its a best of both worlds.

Grungy, metallic. fuzzy and hard rocking, "Smiles Becoming Teeth" is all of those things, it is an album that takes everything that made "Grey Skies Red Planet" such a good listen and ramps those things up to a whole other level. The raucousness of their original sound is still in place throughout this diamond of an album but it is enhanced by better arrangements, a better understanding of songcraft and a higher level of musicianship, If the band continue on this trajectory that notoriously difficult third album is going to be a breeze.
Check 'em out .... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

#releases 28th July 2023

No comments:

Post a Comment