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EP Review: Jukebox Monkey – Vs Time

I know it’s neither here nor there but I think that the Jukebox Monkey logo that you can see above is one of the coolest band logos that I’ve seen for a minute. It has absolutely no bearing on the music whatsoever but I like little things like that.

Now I’ve got that very important piece of opinion out there let’s get down to business.  Jukebox Monkey are a 5 piece ‘Southern Stoner Rock’ group from Gravesend. Formed back in 2010 the band is made up of Chris D (Vocals, guitar) Chris H (Guitar) Niki J (Bass) and Pete (Drums).

Vs Time is brilliantly heavy shit. I know that’s a pretty blunt description but that’s the best that I’ve got right now. There are a few little niggles along the way which I’ll get to but for the most part this record ticks all of the boxes.

Things get going with The Mirror. The track has a huge, great long intro so it takes what feels like an eternity to get going but when it does the rewards are huge. Steeped in that Southern rock sound this song just kicks your ass in the best way imaginable. The gravelly guitar tone is a thing of beauty and the drums hit so hard they will knock you off your feet. The track is almost like 3 tracks in one with that long intro, the main body of the track and then a shorter more abrasive section before everything rounds out.

Peacetime People Ain’t Worth Fighting For might just be the best tune on the record. Straight from the off the guitars crunch in with total abandon and then proceed to beat you about the head for the next five and a half minutes plus. The vocal is as strong as the instrumentation surrounding it and further steps up the big imposing feel that this band radiate from every pore. It’s got to be said I love the guitar work as well; everything on display here just hits the spot perfectly.

Following track Wolves is another badass tune that will take your face off. It’s impossible to listen to this EP quietly; my speakers have taken an absolute hammering. I mentioned above about the drums and in many ways they really lead the charge here. Regular readers will know that I have a thing about drums and the fact I like them to really kick and that’s exactly what happens here. Drummer and producer I doth my cap to you. Towering guitars, concussive drums and heavy killer rhythms power this one forward but not for the first time I think that the track is a little too long.

Penultimate song Undo, Undo, Undo is just brutal; it’s straight up in your face and pretty much relentless from start to finish. The track feels like one big confrontation. However once again I think it’s just too long. Despite some brilliant guitar work it loses its way in the 2nd half and loses that drive and direction which makes it so good.

By the time you get to closer Dead Wait there are few surprises, you know exactly what you’re going to get. This band are all about monster guitar riffs and they make sure that the EP goes out with a bang. I reviewed a band called The Black Hounds a few weeks ago and in a lot of ways these guys aren’t a million miles away from them in terms of sound, they’re just not as traditionally rocky if that makes any sense.

There are loads of plus points to Vs Time, I’m a big fan of the vocals, the guitars, drums, bass, the lot really. The only problem that I have is the length of some of the songs, the shortest clocks in at five minutes forty one seconds. With them being so long it means that they lose some of their hard hitting impact, and feel dragged out. Even bands like Sabbath who were/are known for having massive songs mixed it up a bit. Other than that it’s a good listen, lots of huge riffs and drum beats so heavy they’ll put a whole in your wall. Beautifully heavy and enjoyable stuff.

Vs Time is out now



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