The Monks

Five Upstart Americans

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Rawer than their primordial opus, Black Monk Time, Five Upstart Americans is a collection of demos by proto-punks the Monks (recorded when they were still known as the Torquays). While most demonstration recordings are, by nature, more primitive than the finished product, these sessions could be seen as even more representative of the Monks primal vision. Here their "over-beat" songs of love/hate, confusion, and frustration are stripped to their bare essentials, with minimal lyrics and overdubs. Taped in a single day in 1965, most of these performances remained unreleased for 34 years ("I Hate You" and "Oh, How to Do Now" were included as bonus tracks on Infinite Zero's reissue of Black Monk Time in 1997). Though essential listening for Monk converts, the uninitiated should bless themselves with Black Monk Time before proceeding further. Five Upstart Americans also includes their first 45 (as Five Torquays), which only hints at what was to come.

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