CD Review

Munkey Juice - “Music From the Motion Picture Moscow”

By Marcus Pan

Music From the Motion Picture MoscowWhat we have here are two CDs filled with somewhat badly mixed, under-par produced and blase material covering the genres of alternative rock. Music From the Motion Picture Moscow is amateurish at best, but you will find a few interesting gems in the mix.

Munkey Juice are headed up by the Heise Brothers and Music From the Motion Picture Moscow is their seventh full length. Whether or not Moscow is an actual film is unclear – it seems jokey at best, though the CD jacket includes a seemingly truthful movie poster for it. I'm willing to bet that Munkey Juice are, however, pulling a MeridieM(1) on me and the movie doesn't really exist. With the movie idea behind it however, the double release does take on a bit of a Floydian concept design.

Celebrate is a highlight that is garage level punk done anthem style. It's dirty and gritty, and not wonderfully sung, but it'll catch your interest. They attempt to keep this heavier punk yowl going into I Can't Stand You but instead come out sounding like annoying kids in a schoolyard. The lyrics add to the childishness of many of the tracks here, few moving beyond the boorishly cliche.

Some tracks are a boorishly cute even if they’re dumbed down a bit. Pornography is kind of a lilting tune with guitars pushed off behind a piano player. The following That Road comes out sounding like something the Nickolodeon girl in Unfabulous might write – a cheezy attempt at a ballad. Props to the banjo, however. Headin' Down is a really bad attempt to be Jesus & Mary Chain – it has everything from the warped guitar to the lucid harmonies. Shades of Nirvana squeeze itself into My Last Resort. And all of this criticism is just the first CD!

On the second disc, Big Scene is reminiscent of the Rollins Band. It's interesting how most every track on Music From the Motion Picture Moscow reminds me of another band so strongly it's like a weird various artists mix. How Does it Feel is a Pink Floyd like tune and one of the best on both CDs. I don't know what to think about the "singing" on A Vision in Red. Strangely enough, however, I dig the Alice Donut(2) dirty/cranky rock of No More. Munkey Juice attempts to continue this into Frost, but instead it falls apart from the sheer amateurity.

The big question I have is: after 7 albums and 3 EPs, why are we still sounding like we're in the basement of a hovel in Baghdad during bomb season? By your seventh album I shouldn't have nary a complaint about sub-par production, really, so it makes one wonder if there's any learning going on here or if Munkey Juice are one of those local outfits that will forever be in their garage. I'm not much impressed.

Contact Information:
Munkey Juice
Post: 640 Oakridge Rd. #216, Hopkins, MD, 55305, USA
Phone: (952) 938-4319
(1) MeridieM’s Distant Thunder was reviewed in Legends #92. The group was also interviewed in that same issue.
(2) Alice Donut’s Three Sisters was reviewed in Legends #143.