Desert Monkey

Album Title: Water Damage
Release Date: February 22, 2005
Genre: Rock
Perhaps in an attempt to forge a youth movement in Brit-based rock, Colchester's unfortunately named Desert Monkey has released their sophomore EP Water Damage. And it sounds a lot like Soundgarden. A lot. The members of Desert Monkey are still in their teens and that's probably why the scope of this album is about as wide as a pushpin. All mosh riffs and moaned vocals, it's a pretty lame sound that is only excusable due to the ages involved. Cal Smith appears to be the band's vocalist and give him credit; the kid can wail. And while the arrangements are steep in 17th generation grunge leftovers, the songs are well played in a tightly wound ball of angst. Most interesting is "Run Along" which is decidedly off-tempo and uses some minor key introspection to channel Desert Monkey's inner Staley before the song devolved into a series of half-stroked movements up and down the fret board. Hardly revolutionary stuff by anyone's estimation but probably a lot better than whatever the heck you were up to at 19.

Writer: Cameron Gordon

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