Shake Your Monkey

The Screws

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Shake Your Monkey Review

by Chris Handyside

Shake Your Monkey finds the Screws coming together as an entity. Rather, it finds leaders and consistent members Mick Collins and Terry Wahl working as a wicked 1-2 blues-punk punch. Shake Your Monkey is an album of all covers, and as such, the Screws' influences shine through more so than on Hate Filled Classics. Nowhere is the Screws' new wave vs. blues conflict more apparent than on the consecutive tracks "Flip Your Face" (Chance) and "The Storm" (a Jagger-Richards number). The album peels out from "Flip Your Face"'s herky-jerky meowed vocals (as voiced by Wahl) and cut-and-paste composition to "The Storm"'s languid delta riffage with smooth down-home vocals provided by Collins. The two meet on the next track, "I See You, Baby," and show how strange and persuasive the Screws can be when worlds collide. Throughout the record, Wahl and Collins swap vocals and vocal counterpoints, providing the one center this mixed trick bag of an album offers. Wahl and Collins are joined by drummer Mike McHugh and guitarist-bassist Jimmy Hole (of the Necessary Evils), and bring a refreshingly flexible rhythm feel to the proceedings -- skittish at times, fluid at others, rollicking when called upon to do so. The result is an album that careens from soulful to nervous unpredictably, but with its unshakeable roots in blues and rock. Of course, Shake Your Monkey doesn't stray too far from the post-rock-blues ultra-lo-fi aesthetic too much, but when there's so much else to capture your attention, who needs hi-fi.

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