MP3 Monkey Paw - Hating You Is So Easy
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16 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Punk, ROCK: Noise
"...they're not a traditional punk band in any sense of the word (which makes them even more punk in my book)... Brutal, powerful, but still a bit poppy and engaging, the music never lets you know what it's up to. It just keeps on pounding out the rock. And when you think you've figured it out, they prove you wrong." (In Music We Trust review of Hating You Is So Easy).
Hailing from Chicago, this three-piece band has had its share of ups and downs. The latest installment in the life of monkey paw is the 14 song Honkey Kong (4 Alarm), the culmination of years of playing, recording, breaking up, getting back together, re-recording and growing.
The life of the paw started out on a high note. Their first ever recording, "Big Shooter," was included on Too Much Scratchie Makes You Itch (Scratchie/Mercury) along with such bands as The Frogs and Fountains of Wayne. The song charted #1 on six college radio stations and reached the top five on several others.
Immediately, the paw began playing shows around Chicago and filling such venues as Lounge Ax (R.I.P), Metro, Double Door, Schubas and the Hideout. The next logical step was to record a full length album and see the country. The paw released Hating You Is So Easy (4 Alarm), bought their beloved full functioning ambulance off of eBay, and put it to use. Preferring to play live over recording in the studio, the paw would load up the ambulance and play anywhere at anytime. Nothing made them happier then turning on the sirens and pulling up to a new venue. Touring two consecutive years to New York and back for CMJ and three consecutive years to beautiful Austin, TX and back for SXSW, the ambulance received its fair share of abuse. One night the paw packed the ambulance, drove to New York, played a show in front of only about 75 people, repacked the ambulance and drove back to Chicago without any sleep. The paw arrived home tired and salty, but not regretful. Why did they do it? Why the hell not? Between touring and local Chicago shows, the paw has had the opportunity to play with a diverse group of bands including Mike Watt, The Frogs, The Carlsonics, Season to Risk, The Paper Chase, Chainsaw Kittens, Chevelle, Baldwin Brothers, World Inferno Friendship Society, Janis Figure and countless other talented bands.
Hating you is so Easy received a substantial amount of praise from radio and the press. Named one of the best records of the year by New City and WXRT's Richard Milne, being called a band to watch and receiving a 4/5 by Alternative Press, along with favorable reviews from Big Takeover, In Music We Trust, Baby Sue, Juice Magazine, Skratch and countless more, the paw was on a high note.
The band was set to release their follow up CD on a new label (who shall remain nameless). Excited, hungry and armed with several songs, the paw headed to the studio. They decided to record with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Recording twelve songs almost completely live (just overdubbing vocals) in just 3 days with Albini refereeing, the paw was ecstatic. The album was tentatively called If Hate Were a Four Letter Word, and all they needed was a release date from the label. They began waiting eagerly and patiently. They soon started waiting eagerly and not so patiently. The waiting continued and the paw kept playing live. Soon they stopped playing live. After a year of waiting, it was time to reevaluate. The band members, tired of waiting, began to drift apart. As New City described it "Monkey Paw at one point had everything lined up...But then the band disappeared" (New City, Dave Chamberlain, May 14, 2003).
The members began playing in other projects that left them unfulfilled. Soon, Eric (vocals, guitar, main songwriter) had a countless number of songs that could, in his mind, only be played with monkey paw. The band began practicing again and came back to play their first live show in over a year, opening for Mike Watt at Double Door. Taking it slow and only playing a handful of local shows, the paw began perfecting songs for a new record. Due to the passage of time and being in a different place in their lives, they dropped several of the songs that were recorded during the Albini sessions and decided to record new ones. The new record, Honkey Kong (4 Alarm), features four of the songs recorded at Electrical Audio, one live song, and nine new songs recorded by Bryan Mitchell (who recorded Hating You Is So Easy) at The Basement. The songs have been written over the last couple of years and cover a wide gamut of experiences in the life of the paw. The songs deal with the drifting apart of the band, the joy of getting back together, personal breakups, new starting points and a new view on life.
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