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

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