Rock ’n’ Roll Monkey and the Robots – Spooky Kooky Attic Static (2012)

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Stationed in Detroit, Michigan, this peculiarly named band simply defies classification!

Pouring countless influences into a single blender, Rock ’n’ Roll Monkey and the Robots have truly conceived a style that’s all their own. Spooky Kooky Attic Static (Rock ’n’ Roll Monkey/Motor Sounds) marks the band’s fourth full-length album, which should not only quench the thirst of diehard fans, but charm the toenails off those hearing them for the first time.

A wild and free attitude, triggered by strains of surf rock guitars, ratty garage-punk mayhem, stuttering new wave rhythms, quirky power pop diversions and a warped psychedelic consciousness complete the program. There’s absolutely no lulls to be found in the grooves of Spooky Kooky Attic Static, as the energy level remains consistently high, the beats are ridiculously peppy and the vocals are as animated as a Saturday morning cartoon show.

There’s something different and special about every track on the disc. No ideas are repeated twice, as the band hops, bops, shimmies and shakes their way through a busy, winding maze of hooky heavy racket. Hiccupping tempos collide with brain-damaging breaks, and while the arrangements tend to be minimal they are smart and catchy.

Along with the customary guitar, bass and drums, Rock ’n’ Roll Monkey and the Robots decorate their dandy little ditties with flutes, saxophones, vibraphones and washboards. I tell you, there’s quite a party going on here! “Oh Polka Dot,” “I Should’ve Stayed In Detroit,” “Put A Record On,” “Sadie Was A Bad Dog” and “Sippin’ Safari” are my favorite songs on the disc, but the entire album is indeed a solid piece of work.

Playful and never a dull moment, Rock ’n’ Roll Monkey and the Robots clearly have a barrel of fun doing what they do. Their snappy tunes also encourage audience participation, enticing the listener to clap their hands, bang their head and shuffle their feet to their itchy, twitchy missives. Snatches of bands like the B-52’s, the Ventures, the Kingsmen, the dB’s and the Unrelated Segments may occasionally arise in the music of Rock ’n’ Roll Monkey and the Robots, but in the end they are unbelievably unique.

Busting at the stitches with imagination and a sincere love for a variety of musical fashions, Spooky Kooky Attic Static is a cool album from a cool band that knows how to enjoy themselves and sound great in the process.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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