The Sun Sawed in 1/2

Hot Feet for Monkey God

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Given that St. Louis' Sun Sawed in 1/2 debuted with a lackluster EP only a year before the release of this, their first full-length album, and then managed to create a unique and intriguing pop album is quite impressive indeed. Hot Feet for Monkey God, by itself, is possibly one of the strangest power pop albums of the last decade, and that's a bittersweet accolade. The up side, of course, means that it's inventive, original, and quirky...but the inevitable downside is that these same attributes will scare away fans of the rather traditional power pop genre. Those who stay around, however, may be pleased. Hot Feet for Monkey God is almost a storybook pop album; it's complete with fantastic songs, lyrics, and album art, to the degree that it wouldn't sound out of place as the soundtrack to Alice in Wonderland or Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The song titles speak for themselves: "The Lemon-Lime Forest," "Annabelle's Book of Hours," "Pepper Bear," and "Queen of the Fireflies" are just some of the obvious examples. It is this combination of quirkiness (along with the obsession with the fantastic) and the bizarre instrumentation's that may scare listeners away, or at least keep them from coming back for more. Fans of the band's releases from Mind Flip may find this release disconcerting, even jarring, and therefore it may only truly be great for the most devoted fans of the band. However, almost any fan of modern day pop music and a little bit of fantasy ripped from the storybooks (think XTC's Mummer, for a good example) may find something to love here. The band would change their sound drastically again in the next two years before their next album, but many of the lyrical and conceptual elements that compromised the band's music in later years (the use of horns, the interest in world music, and storybook lyrics) were all in place on this disc.

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