If the band Space Monkeys doesn’t ring a bell out the gate, don’t feel bad. Their debut album, Daddy of Them All, came out in 1997, and their second album Modern Actions came out…this last January. 2020. A twenty-three year gap.
The last band to sign to Factory Records, Space Monkeys found success with their crazy catchy single “Sugar Cane”, and sold nearly a quarter million records. They toured the states (in a recent twitter post, they remembered touring with the late Adam Schlesinger’s band Ivy in 1998). And they did record a second album, Escape from the 20th Century, but unfortunately their label collapsed and the record was shelved until 2013. The band disbanded in 2000.
The members all went on to new projects, some musical, some not. In 2015, they reformed (minus Tony Pipes), to play a series of one-off shows and festivals. And this year, they finally released their first album of new material in decades.
And it’s good! Sunny, Britpop melodies abound, but there’s so much more. Leanings towards psychedelia, hip-hop beats and synths percolate throughout. Opening track “We Are Together” brings in lightly funky piano melodies with some 70’s styled male/female harmonizing. “Black Mirror” is a foray into moodier jazz-rock, and “Born to Ride” mixes macabre synths with 60’s surf guitar a bit of night time garage rock.
It’s a truly eclectic album, and a remarkable return. Take a listen to the full album and wonder why these guys took so long to get us new music!
And if you need a refresher, here’s their hit single “Sugar Cane“: