Jango Monkey - Jango Monkey CD REVIEW
November 6th, 2008 | Posted by: planbee on Leeway's Home Grown Music Network Click to see posted review,
Rife with piano and rootsy rock melodies, Jango Monkey's self-titled release is loaded with influences that merge oh so sweetly.
The Atlanta sextet creates a highly agreeable sound with plain-spoken vocals that ride atop friendly rock backdrops. Despite the wealth of sounds that inform their style, this isn't ADD-rock - this music is firmly grounded in the real world, with an emphasis on memorable songs, witty lyrics, and symphonic song construction, and the band creates songs that mix-and-match a laundry list of textures, moods, and melodies.
The first track alone will have the listener thinking extra hard to place the myriad elements that flow throughout. "The Escape" has a bit of rollicking piano, churchy organ, folky vocals, improv-rock guitar work, and multi-purpose drumming. "It Takes Awhile" brings to mind the mid-tempo country-rock shuffles of moe, as strummy electric and acoustic guitars blend with meaningful lyrics. "Losing It" introduces even more ingredients, with vocal "oooh-wops" and bluesy, subtle dual guitar work over a rhythm full of motion. The unintentionally descriptive song title "Hurry Up and Wait" captures some of the yin and yang of Jango Monkey's sound, and the song itself lends itself to dancing or relaxing - listener's choice. "Green Girl" is a highly emotional song, with this lyrical nugget of truth - "Idiots are everywhere" - busting through the subdued psychedelia.
There's quasi-funk with a dose of the dulcet tones of vibraphone ("Got It Made"), loping tuba blues with a singalong chorus and demented melodies ("Shelter"), and dramatic pop-rock spiced with majestic horns and burbling synths ("Pests"). I think the band has enough material here for two albums, or at least enough ideas - the last part of the disc suffers a bit from all-inclusiveness, as if they felt they had to put at least an hour's worth of music on the album. "Great Expectations" picks up after a less-than-stunning start, but "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" (not a cover) could have been left out with little repercussion. However, the reward of the last song, "Musical Gods," is well worth the hour-long journey. All told, this is a great, representative debut from a band with endless creative possibilities.
ISSUE 57 Hittin' the Note Magazine (published June 08) IN TUNE column" Up and Coming Musicians and the Sounds They Make" by Jamie Lee
"The note from Rob Platner varied little from those that cross my desk regularly: the leader of Atlanta, GA's Jango Monkey had hoped to
score some press for the quintet. Half-way into the first track of the band's eponymous debut, I sensed that Platner had been much too modest - the
music was adept, distinct, well-structured, and at times feverish. Formed in 2004, Jango Monkey's output is centered on Platner's songwriting, but it
is marked as well by the dynamic backing of Tim Watts on bass/synth, Eric Martin on lead guitar, T.K. Thornton on drums and Bill Kahler on keys and sax.
The quintet is often augmented by Jango Jim Kirkland on electric violin,Rick Fenwick on vibraphone, Maria Rossoto on percussion and
Casey Viggiano on backing vocals, adding strokes of new color to an already vibrant canvas.
Opening with the cycling piano of "The Escape", Platner leads Jango Monkey through 12 fully-formed compostitions that explore the abilities of the
whole collective. Where Platner's writing succeeds most is in his ability to etch plain-spoken images, that despite their simplicity, reverberate
with truth and feeling. The easy groove of "It Takes Awhile" is bolstered by multi-part harmonies, a mature restraint that defies the bands age,
and a style that populates much of the album. While the CD boasts a focus on "Song", Jango Monkey is just as prone to blow open song
structures with a well-formed knack for improvisation. Jango Monkey is poised to add yet another pattern to Georgia music's ever-growing tapestry of sound."
The band has been honored to play:
The East Point Arts & Ale Festival
The Dunhams's Farewell Party at the Peachtree Tavern featuring the best of Atlanta's Jam scene
Terrapin Beer Company's JamFest at Jakes Toadhouse
Sweetwater Brewery -4:20 party 6/30/05
Jango Monkey was selected from thousands of applicants ("among the most promising and exciting
unsigned acts on the current music scene") to perform at the 2005 Atlantis Music
Jango's Chief songwriter, Rob, has played multiple acoustic shows at Smith's Olde Bar Songsmiths Series "featuring Atlanta's finest
"LOCAL LONG DISTANCE" radio show featured Jango Monkey on show about Atlanta's best unsigned bands in May 07.
Jango Monkey has been profiled in the southeastern edition of Performer Magazine.(1/08)
Recent cd reviews (posted on Itunes)
Great Lyrics and Talented Musicians…..treat yourself to a refreshi….5 stars
Masterful Blend of insightful lyrics combined with an excellent arrangement and guitar leads.
Finally a studio album where you can actually hear individual instruments! The
variety of styles represented on this disk is refreshing in an age where loud
cookie cutter music fills CD cases and airwaves. Musical Gods preaches all that
is good in Rock n Roll, while Green Girl makes you want to pour a glass of Romulan
ale while you gaze at the stars.
Great variety! A band that actually plays more than one song! 5 stars
The songs on this album are all different. There are dreamy ballads with heart
wrenching guitar work (Musical Gods), funk rock, quirky pop, and even a Klezmer number!
Nothing sounds like filler and the musicianship is topnotch. These guys are good and
deserve your attention.
"Consider my mind Blown"(from Garage Band review)
"really enjoy the lyrics, very descriptive and yet still indecipherable, very cool.
arrangements and the writing are top notch"(from Garage Band review)
"Yuv really come a long way. Really dig it all. Now must pull myself away from jango site and get on
with me life.
(I've been on the site overnite) "c. Rhodes
"We are listening to the live stream from your website and really like what we hear. Any band that has been
inspired by Moe, Phish and especially the ToneMutts has our support.
Can we put in an advanced order for the debut album?" Mark and lorrisa
"I love your sound. You are all insanely talented." Tracey
"very obvious you have great rapport with each other while playing" rick
SEND US SOME BUZZ AND WE'LL POST IT!
Sign up for The Jango Monkey Mailing List!