Exposé Online banner

MonkeyBat — Springtime Love
((Not on label) no#, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-08-23

Springtime Love Cover art

The guitar trio (often called a "power trio") is probably the most common configuration in rock bands all around the world, but MonkeyBat has a twist on the standard: the exclusive use of acoustic guitar. This could have taken them in a folk-rock direction, or maybe even classical or flamenco, but they've found a path all their own, something merging jazz and funk with progressive (even math) rock. Guitarist Scott Lewis has a very percussive attack most of the time, providing a lot of rhythmic interest in his parts whether using pick or fingers, sometimes reminiscent of a funk bassist's snapping and popping. And speaking of bassists, Brian Todd gets a lot of mileage out of his six-string bass, with nimble lines and flashy fills, even sometimes developing tricky tapped patterns. Drummer Vern Lawton is the glue holding it all together, navigating the complex time signatures smoothly, throwing accents in unexpected places, and often emphasizing the snare and cymbals in a way reminiscent of Bill Bruford. His use of double-footed kick drum pedal is unexpected in such subtle music, but he makes it work. The lack of a dedicated melody instrument is occasionally felt, but Lewis's guitar does an admirable job providing melodies within the parts, emphasizing and sustaining certain notes while others change. He also manages to toss in nice touches like harmonics among the other notes. MonkeyBat's knack for making complex music sounding friendly enough to fit in many different contexts — they regularly share bills with bands of nearly every genre imaginable. Fans of both prog and jazz should be able to enjoy this excellent release, and their sophomore album is already in the works.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): MonkeyBat

More info
http://monkeybat.net

Latest news

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - To Cry You a Song: A Collection of Tull Tales – At first thought, this disc had the possibility of being not just another tribute album with renditions of classic songs by wimpy bands and weird line-ups. But as with some expectations, they can tend...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues