Rock n’ Roll Monkey & the Robots
Rocket Trash/ Strings & Traps LP
Rock n’ Roll Monkey Records/Motor Sounds Records
Street: 01.14
Rock n’ Roll Monkey & the Robots = Lou Reed + Television + The Beatles
Seemingly covering the basic aspects of rock n’ roll, this double EP, 45-RPM LP is a combination of pop and folk wrapped with surf rock, dashed with some punky attitude and concluded with Mersey-sound rock n’ roll. I would recommend starting with “The Postmodern Gal,” which leads in with a heavy guitar riff and edgy-sounding vocals from Craig Cambell. This LP also has a great historic rock ballad about the Cold War–era crossing point between East and West Berlin, “Checkpoint Charlie.” Despite some fun numbers, this album does come across as a bit stale (“Into Oblivion”) as well as corny in the poppy number “I Really Like You,” in which a girl is compared to ramen noodles. It’s an album perhaps best suited for a sock hop or beach blanket party. I wish it were exceptional, but it isn’t.
–Nick Kuzmack