Sprung Monkey

Get a Taste

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Sprung Monkey has been reinventing themselves since the mid-'90s, when their grunge-meets-Red Hot Chili Peppers sound first burst on the scene. On Get a Taste, they take their lessons from popular rockers Sugar Ray and try to brighten up their sound by turning down the distortion and throwing in record scratches and acoustic guitars. This might win them more fans, but has further blurred their already derivative sound into an entire album that sounds like the filler found on teen movie soundtracks. There are always bright spots, and Sprung Monkey flirts with a few sounds that they might be successful with. Especially good is "Beautiful," a melodic rocker that brings to mind early-'90s Goo Goo Dolls, and "Party Like a Rock Star," a song so blatantly commercial and poppy that it screams to be included on the aforementioned teen movie soundtrack. But Sprung Monkey does not settle on any one sound, instead trying to cover every base, from heavy metal to funk rock to pop ballads. This is a band who has a lot of talent, but as singer Steve Summers says in "Whatcha Gonna Do," "lately I've been wonderin' who I am." This essentially sums up the album, which never quite figures out what it's going for and ends up sounding confused and rather boring because of it.

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