2 SICK MONKEYS - Into Oblivion

2 Sick Monkeys are the epitome DIY punk. They are DIY punk giants. Not that they’d agree with this because they’re way too modest, but they are. And not only are Pete and Fred the nicest blokes you could possibly meet they are the noisiest as well. And So here endeth the fanboy chat.
For those of you that don’t know (??) 2 Sick Monkeys are a 2 piece punk band from Swindon, UK, Pete Butler Bass/Vocals and Fred Cooper Drums/Vocals. They formed in 2000 and have pretty much gigged throughout the UK and the rest of Europe since, totting up over 1000 gigs. They also have 8 (fantastic) releases under their belt and appear on numerous compilations. Sadly though, December 16th 2018 sees the end of the 2 Sick Monkeys with a hometown farewell gig in Swindon, however, on September 7th, they leave us with their last album, Into Oblivion.
So, kicking Into Oblivion off is Theme From The Monkeys, an instrumental and an easy intro to the album but a tune which allows you to hear the talent these pair have, and there’s plenty of it. Next up is Public Relations, a higher tempo tune and a proper dancer. Plenty more of these to come. Following on is Zombie Holocaust, Fred on vocals for this one. “Truth is dead, just us alive. Welcome to the rest of your life” is what you’ll have stuck in your head after hearing this one. It’s a happy tune behind these lyrics though and it bounces along nicely, an undeniable 2SM song. A late seventies rock out is what welcomes us next. The Endgame is a proper foot tapping, head bobbing (or banging) rock song and it’s fantastic. Waves sees the first guest appearance from Beanie Entwistle (Black Star Dub Collective, Conscious Youth) on vocals. Beanies vocals on this and the warmth you get from the layers of Petes bass make Waves a truly beautiful song, a stand out tune on the album. It wraps itself around you like a blanket and it’s something you don’t want to let go of. Fingers crossed we get to see this live somewhere in the next few months.

A change of pace and we have These Are The Things That Don’t Seem Like Fun To Me. Guest vocals from Casual Nauseas Edward Ache who also wrote the lyrics, a list of things that don’t seem like fun to him. Where the previous song comforted this one drags you up out your chair and demands your enjoyment... which the song has in buckets! Another guest lyricist for The Boatman and what words they are too. Matt Martin, (Pumpkin Records), Petes band mate in Dead Subverts, has written a strong piece on the Worlds fucked up view on borders and who can and can’t cross them. Petes hushed, angry vocals in the 2 verses sit on your shoulder, repeating the whisper into your ear... “Fences, Wire, Flesh and Murder” while Freds bass drum beats like a speeding heartbeat. A strong song and my favourite. An angry Pete Butler spits out the vocals to Take It, the 8th track off Into Oblivion. There’s no hiding from his anger either, the song batters you and it’s relentless. What D’You Know is up next, a good old fashioned fast punk tune, although it doesn’t completely stick to the script. It is though, a definite dancer. A slow burning instrumental is what No One Seemed To Care is. It does picks up speed and we’re treated to a small outing of Inside/Outside from 2015s About Time EP before it slows up again.
A nice little breather then before we get into Games. Here is one bouncy punk song, nice and fast and a sing along chorus...what more could you want? Nothing! Next it’s Before I Die, one of the longest tracks on the album, it kind of rolls along, helped by Freds rolling around the toms through the verse. We get into some serious good old 2SM territory through the middle of the song, some fantastic song writing right here. Petes voice is wonderful and when joined by Beanie it all gets more wonderfuller! I could easily listen to this on repeat, no worries, “Just One More Time”. More Instrumentalism with Superhero something they do so well. Yet another guest lyricist joins 2SM for Blinko And I, this time it’s Paul Hatherley (Umbilical Noose) who’s put pen to paper. Taking a punt here and guessing that the Blinko in Blinko And I is Nick Blinko from Rudimentary Peni? This is a fast piece with the vocal following the bass line through the verse, again a brilliant bit of song writing. Nail In The Sky is an easy listen, it just kind of washes over you which considering its subject matter, death, is quite apt. I love how uncomplicated this song is, i love this song.
We’re heading towards the end of the album now. A sombre, slow bass riff opens up Swamp Too but then makes way for a pacier song. Vocals here are provided by Shaun Buswell. Jeeves Butler (AnyMinuteNo) is the fourth and final guest lyricist on the album, supplying the words for The Mask. This is a laid back, slow, repeater of a song... the kind of song you might ride into town on a horse to! Things pick up when Freds vocals kick in though... and you get off the horse...probably? Those Cornish noisy fuckers, Rash Decision, supply the vocals for part 3 of the Blurrr trilogy, Blurrr III. A fast and furious 43 seconds and we’re all done here. More Rash Decision as guitarist Simon Walker takes over vocal duties on Misery, a dark and brooding tune. And so we come to the end (sad face). Leaving is the complete opposite to the previous song, a jaunty piece with vocals provided by Porl Den-man (Autonomads/ Holiday ). It’s a bittersweet song about the bands memories over the last 18 years and it leaves us with the line “It’s time to go, lets hit the road. We’re on our way back home” It’s a wonderful tune, properly wonderful. For those of you that have had the pleasure of seeing 2 Sick Monkeys live you’ll know that they always end by asking the crowd to sing along with them the words Fuck Off! and the song/album ends just the same. FUCK OFF!

The end then, so sad to see them go but with Into Oblivion they have left us with a quality piece of work. Sometimes dark, sometimes joyful but always beautiful. The contributions from other artists are a real pleasure and the passion with which they are done is a true reflection on how 2SM are loved. Do yourselves a favour... firstly buy this album, then the rest of their back catalogue, you will not be disappointed. Secondly, get to see them live before they go, it’s a must.
Into Oblivion... Proper Job!, Happy Christmas!

Noise Merchants Collective


2 SICK MONKEYS - Into Oblivion

As things stand “Into Oblivion” by 2 Sick Monkeys is very much the bands final offering. One in which it has to be said is a hell of an exit. Having formed in the year 2000, things weren’t necessarily supposed to have lasted this long. However, on the back of an event organised by Primal Scream’s Darrin Mooney, 2 Sick Monkeys took the underground punk scene by storm.

They’ve played over 1000 shows across the UK and beyond, gathering a bit of cult following along the way. So, with “Into Oblivion” 2 Sick Monkeys have gone all out to give themselves that well-deserved send-off.

Officially a 2 piece, featuring Pete Tower on bass/vocals and Fred Nus on drums/vocals, the pair have enlisted a number of contributors for the latest release. Although, that’s not in a special guest kind of way, just more in order to help deliver this beast of an album.

After all, unlike many shorter punk/hardcore albums and EP’s, “Into Oblivion” features an impressive 20 tracks, lasting over an hour. As a result, the cheeky monkeys have mixed it up a bit, giving a hidden depth that may not have been expected.

The album kicks off with a garage-rock instrumental “Them from the Monkeys”, while “The End Game” chugs steadily along without going full out punk rock. As for the beautiful “Waves”, Pete and Fred’s duel vocals are put aside and replaced by their friend Beanie. Her soothing approach already giving the album a different perspective 5 songs in.

However, those of you wanting to head back into the more traditional punk rock tunes, then “These are things…” and “Blinko and I” do just that. They’re songs that embrace what was once, in essence, an angry 2-piece. Both lead by the bass of Pete Tower, allowing the listener to form a pit in the comfort of their own bedroom.

The album really does cover all basis, rather naturally too, for at no point does it feel like a song hasn’t earnt its rightful place. There’s the frantic anti-fascist numbers, as well as songs designed to just bounce along to. While at the same time, 2 Sick Monkeys never risk coming across as a band who have reached the end of the line.

As for other tracks that return to those more conventional tendencies, with “Before I die” Mr Teeth can envisage a crowd sing-a-long at the final show. Maybe one where Pete and Fred are already considering the possibility of a reunion tour.

However, the guys stand firm on hanging up their bass and packing away the drumkit, calling time with the closing tune “Leaving”. While lyrically “Into Oblivion” touches on an array of subjects, the album ends with an upbeat and cheerful, yet rather poignant farewell.

Mr teeth Reviews.com


2 SICK MONKEYS - Into Oblivion

Oh my - the final (studio) farewell from the legendary 2 Sick Monkeys.
There is a danger with a band that is consistently good, that you end up saying that their most recent offering is their best. I think that it is really true in the case of this album.
It is a real beast - 20 tracks clocking up 69 minutes of 2SM awesomeness.
To be honest, I did not need to play it more than once to know I was listening to something pretty damn special. Even if you don't get any other 2SM releases, make sure you get this one, cos it lets you know with absolute clarity what a phenomena these guys were.
I can't pull out a fave, cos they are all fantastic tracks, but the final one, "Leaving" is particularly poignant and ending with drunken cheering and jeering, is the ideal, if somewhat sad close on this arch-type DIY entity.

Review by Neil Duncan in Issuepunk Zine (Issue No. 100)
www.facebook.com/Issuepunkzine-108843925850274/


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