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
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
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
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)