Mr. Funny Face
It was with great anticipation that I grabbed the latest Sprung Monkey release. I have been a fan since the early 90’s, when The Asylum/Power Station would be the only Central Florida stop for punk shows. My first encounter was at a surf video release party by Taylor Steele, who brought several top surfers and bands, Sprung Monkey among them. They blew the place apart! The buzz about this band lasted for weeks after the show. Instead of becoming an overnight success or headlining act, SM has remained patiently (or preferably) in the wings while many bands with half the talent have achieved more commercial success.
Sprung Monkey have always identified with the Southern California surf scene, so it’s no surprise that Surfdog Records (a division of Hollywood Records) recently signed them. On this, their third full length CD, I found a bit of uncertainty in some of the tracks, yet there is still plenty of their signature hardcore sound dominating. The forgettable title track and attempts to go for a “dark, evil” sound seem to detract from Mr. Funny Face and what the band really sounds like. I can appreciate them wanting to experiment and mix things up a bit, but try it on to make sure it fits.
They instantly redeem themselves on “Greta,” “White Trash,” “Hard Times,” and “Going for the Angry.” No secret recipe here — just pure, ripping. The brothers Summer — Steve’s full-bore vocals and Mike cranking guitar — are what will keep Sprung Monkey on top of their game.
The bouncy lyrics of “Get ‘Em Outta Here” have already been well received on “rock” radio. Even though that’s not the best song, more power to them! Their success is long overdue! Sprung Monkey blows up onstage! They are always an awesome force live. Catch them on the Funny Face Tour, opening up for Unwritten Law Surfdog Records, 315 South Coast Hwy 101, Suite 100, Encinitas, CA 92024