Style Monkeez

Schmelt Fry in Antigo

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CMC International found quite a niche for itself in the late 1990s -- when other labels were sending rejection letters to arena rock, hard rock, and pop-metal artists of the 1970s and 1980s, CMC was signing them left and right. CMC reasoned that even though alternative had become rock's primary direction, there were still a lot of baby boomers (and some Generation X-ers as well) who wound spend money on a new album by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Judas Priest, or Dokken. But back in 1992, CMC had yet to find that niche. The label had yet to hook up with BMG -- Ichiban was its distributor -- and it was pushing a little known alternative rock combo called the Style Monkeez. Schmelt Fry in Antigo, their only album, didn't sell, although the band does show some potential here and there. The rocker's forte is an irreverent, obnoxious, and goofy blend of punk, metal, and funk. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a valid comparison, although these guys have an energy of their own. This CD is uneven -- most of the tunes are forgettable, but a few of them are decent. And when the Style Monkeez really get going and deliver their best performances (which include "Disco Man" and an unlikely metal/punk interpretation of Madonna's "Justify My Love"), you can hear their potential. But that potential went unfulfilled. During its pre-BMG days, CMC didn't have the resources to break a new alternative rock act, and the Style Monkeez never recorded a second album.

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