Monkeyjunk – Moon Turn Red (review)

Monkeyjunk – Moon Turn Red (Stony Plain) review

The Canadian trio comes into their own on their fourth release

Blues, rock, funk – you’ll find elements of it all on Moon Turn Red, the new album from Monkeyjunk. But, what sets this record apart from their earlier releases is that everything blends together in a cohesive sound. The result is their strongest album to date.

Things kick off with the chugging swamp rock of “Light it Up,” featuring killer slide guitar. There’s a harder, decidedly rock edge throughout the record. “You” has some fantastic harmonica playing and moves along to a groove reminiscent of ZZ Top. They’ve also improved their lyrics – there’s great wordplay on songs like the bawdy “Show Me Yours” and the Robin Trower-eque “Live Another Day.” The Texas shuffle of “Love Attack” cleverly references a fragment of the Dragnet theme.

A pair of ballads – “Learn How to Love” and “Meet Me at Midnight” show off a soulful side of the band, and how Steve Marriner has become a great vocalist. They’re even joined by Canadian guitar legend David Wilcox on a searing cover of his “Hot Hot Papa,” the disc’s lone song not written by the band.

Moon Turn Red is the kind of album that can only come from years of playing together. They should definitely be proud of this one. —Tony Peters