Iron Monkey were, and continue to be a pillar of the stoner/sludge genre. After releasing two albums on Earache they called it a day in 1999. Now returning 18 years later with 9-13 as a three piece, and whilst Johnny Morrow is no longer with us they reclaim their crown with their inimitable nihilistic groove. LP and CD on Relapse.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 18 October 2017
Sludgers Iron Monkey were out there in Nottingham’s thriving noisy punk scene of old, part of the same legendary spawn that filled up Earache (where their 1998 release ‘Our Problem’ held dominion). Chaotic and calamitous, their sound fell somewhere between slow doomy breakdowns and fast-as-heck hardcore. They called it a day on the eve of 2000 and their original singer, Jonny Morrow, died tragically in 2002. That they exist again, now, in 2017, is a beautiful thing indeed -- even if they are making dirge noise.
They’ve still got it! As a three-piece they rock and riff their way through ‘9-13’, taking a big ol’ victory lap through songs with furious but repetitive energy. Their pace is crusty in the main, offering a lovely illusion between fast and slow that reminds me of hardcore heroes like Cursed; you feel caught up in the sound rather than ground to a halt or pushed along by it. Tight as ever, these songs also offer their odd humours, still in tact: an occasional nervous laugh or hellish howl, played over super-serious gnarly guitars and marching beats. Very nice; classic Nottingham; lovely evil.
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