Occasionally we see musicians step out of their comfort zone and make music outside their genre of expertise. Or perhaps, a band is around long enough, their sound may have evolved throughout the years. For instance, their’s probably no other band that’s as diverse as Queen. Take a listen to their first few albums and then listen to their 80’s catalogue-very, very different stuff.
Then take Chris Cornell and Duran Duran’s collaboration with Timbaland-both artists albums miserably failed. Some artists can make the shift with grace and others probably should’ve just stayed put.
If you haven’t heard of the Monks then today is your lucky day, if you know who the Monks are, then hold tight and keep reading, you might learn something new. The Monks were comprised from the ashes of a folk rock band named The Strawbs. Noticing the popular movement with Punk Rock, they decided to form a new band and somewhat poke fun at the latest trend in music. The end result was a really good Punk Rock album entitled, Bad Habits.
The album cover displays a cigarette smoking nun revealing a little too much leg; 36 years after the albums release, the album cover still contains a wow factor. Bad Habits opens with the bands iconic track, “Johnny B. Rotten” (influenced by the Sex Pistols front man, John Lydon.) The British accent is prominent in the vocals and the tracks opening drum beat and rhythm guitar will get you bopping your head. The pace slows down with the albums second track (and my personal favourite) “Drugs In My Pocket”. The Monks funk things up a bit with this bass driven track but continue to not lose the ‘Punk Spoof’ they were aiming for.
The only song off Bad Habits to chart on home soil for them was “Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face”, astonishingly hitting #19 on the U.K. charts. Although the U.K. didn’t embrace the parody band with open arms, The Monks achieved commercial success in Canada (mainly in Ontario). “Drugs In My Pocket” became a Top 20 single in Canada and by 1982, The Monks earned double platinum certification with the debut album. “Love In Stereo”, “Dear Jerry” and the trippy surfer rock sounding “Skylab” are other standout tracks from Bad Habits. The Monks released their second album, Suspended Animation in 1981, but it was only available in Canada. It was later released in the U.K. in 1999 and once again in 2009.The current versions include 6 never before heard songs that were originally written for the unfinished album, Cybernetic Sister. It’s unfortunate Bad Habits didn’t get world wide recognition, as a matter of fact, it didn’t even get released in the U.S. Apart from that though, Bad Habits is a straight forward Punk-Rock album with clever written songs. It holds up well to any other Punk album that was released in the same era.