Reviewed by: Dorothy Pawlowski
Published: 01 July 2011
single: monkey off my back
I must confess to an initial feeling of disappointment to observe that so, so much plastic has been used to encase exactly 3 minutes and 31 seconds of music as presented by Adelaide folk music icon Soursob Bob with his single release, Monkey Off My Back. I re-engaged my objectivity mode however and gave it a spin, not knowing whether to expect Mr Bob in solo or rock band Kelshy modes. As it turned out, it was a bit of neither and somewhat reminiscent of old Adelaide band Redgum, but rockier.
As always with SB’s music, at least from my perspective, there seems to be more focus on the lyrical content than the musical, as in the best folk tradition and nothing wrong with that, as Bob Dylan fans will no doubt attest. This said, this Monkey Off My Back is a well-constructed pop song harmonically with sound orchestration (get it?); lots of guitars of various sorts. Good.
The production on this single, attributed to Kimbo at Spare Room Audio, is clean and inventive without being dominant; the panning of the guitars works well, as does the clever intro which sounds like live drums before the song launches into punchy studio drum sounds. I found the backing vocals in the verses, mixed under the main vocals a little aimless and would have preferred them left for the choruses only, however this was more than offset by the absolutely beautiful guitar lead break.
So, we finish up a solid piece of work with an unusual (these days) fade out on the chorus, leaving me fondly remembering the many and various monkeys I have had to scrape off my own back over the years, and conveniently forgetting my environmental scruples. Have a listen – maybe you can buy it as a download?