[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(54:49: Monkey Diet)
TRACK LIST: 1. Ego Loss 4:22 2. Inner Gobi 6:28 3. Slidin' Bike 4:33 4. Endless Day of Robby the Ant 6:18 5. Moth 9:14 6. Sorry Son...(I've Lost Your Car) 5:42 7. Moonshine 4:38 8. Seppuku 2:37 9. Viking 10:57 LINEUP: Daniele Piccinini - bass, synthesizers Gabriele Martelli - guitars, synthesizers Roberto Bernardi - drums with: Coro Stelutis - vocals
Prolusion. Italian trio Monkey Diet was formed back in 2014 with members from the bands Accordo dei Contrari, PropheXy and Altare Thotemico, each of them with a desire to explore music made with a different and more free spirit than what was the case with their current bands. The end result is the album "Inner Gobi", which was self released by the band in 2017 and distributed by legendary Italian label Black Widow Records.
Analysis. This is a production that really does focus a bit more on the past than the future as far as the music explored goes. It is an expressive variety of music though, or perhaps an expressive blend of music might be the best description here. Material that probably falls inside of a progressive rock context too, but also music that some die hard progressive rock fans will have a hard time acknowledging as being a part of this universe. For my sake I'll file the (mostly) instrumental creations of this threesome under hard progressive rock, as I believe that is the most suitable definition to give the music explored on this production. The compositions pretty much ebb and flow between and mix and blend elements from four different core types of music here: We have doom metal inspired passages where the riffs in particular comes with inspirations from certain pioneers and perhaps also to a slightly lesser extent from stoner rock bands, and in a similar vein we also have passages with tight riff constructions as the dominant element, in this case with more of a classic hard rock sound and orientation. Then we have more loose and elegant displays of otherworldly instrument sounds as the driving elements in parts with more of a psychedelic rock and perhaps also improvised feel to them. At last we also have loose and open passages that draw in movements and instrument details with a closer alignment to jazz and jazzrock. While Monkey Diet occasionally will explore some of these four distinctly different orientations in more of a purebred manner, their specialty is to mix and blend elements from two or more of these into each composition and often into each of the movements in a composition too. With loose and elegant displays of psychedelic jazz and jazzy hard rock with and without doom metal aspirations as well as more brooding excursions with some doom metal aspects being dominant but with fervent undercurrents of jazz and psychedelia. And plenty of variations of those and other combinations in between. We do get some interludes and left turns into more distinct progressive rock territories along the way too. That is progressive rock without or with more subtle jazzrock traits only of course, as for me at least jazzrock is also usually regarded as a variety of progressive rock. This is an interesting album experience executed by seasoned hands with a clear idea of what they want to achieve and how to go about reaching their more or less defined goals. A set of goals that appears to revolve around a fairly free role within a more or less defined framework, giving the players many choices but not always a total freedom. Or at least that is the impression I'm left with as a mere listener. The more important bit about this is that the music is both interesting and intriguing of course.
Conclusion. If you tend to fancy a harder edged variety of progressive rock and you find instrumental compositions to be generally interesting, Monkey Diet is a band you might want to get to know better. Especially if a band that use traits and elements from classic doom metal, hard rock, psychedelic rock and jazzrock to form landscapes of this disposition. And for those that give this album an inspection I like what they hear: A new album by the band appears to be in the final stages of creation these days.
Progmessor: February 2023
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]