Hey-hey, It’s the Monks Reissues!



Radiohead- and Yo La Tengo-approved legends rear their
oddly-groomed heads once again.


By Fred Mills



Hipsters know, and the little
girls definitely understand: the Monks were the shit. One of the wildest ever
garage bands who literally defined the term “proto-punk,” the sixties
terrorists are about to get the deluxe reissue treatment courtesy Light In The
Attic Records. En route on April 14 from the label are two lavishly packaged
and lovingly researched reissues (available on CD, LP, and digital download): The
Early Years 1964-1965
as well as their landmark studio album Black Monk


According to the label, numerous
period photographs (many unseen) and an extensive two-part essay by Canadian
music journalist Kevin Howes (Rodriguez – Cold Fact, Jamaica – Toronto
series) accompany both releases and tell the Monks story like it has never been
told. Bonus material dating back to pre-Monks Torquays and up to post Black
Monk Time 7″s are also included.




Today the words “garage,”
“psych,” and “punk” are ubiquitous – but in the mid-1960s
there was only one group that clearly defined them. The Monks were five
beat-playing American GIs stationed in Germany who, after their discharge,
decided to stay and continue their musical mission. With a team of local
managers they transformed into a holy racket like the world had never
witnessed. The Monks birthed the above genres through a fuzz-drenched sound,
bursting with social commentary and future primitive rhythms. Krautrock? It
started here.



“You can hear their influence across the
– Colin Greenwood, Radiohead



“It was just guitar, bass and drums
but they made them sound like nobody had ever made them sound before…. the
Monks were inventing music for themselves.”
– Ira Kaplan, Yo La Tengo




Sure, it’s hype – this time, though, bubba, it’s all
true. As LITA reminds us – “We’re all Monks!”


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