19/01/2010

6. Low : Monkey

(The Great Destroyer, 2005)

I have literally no idea what this is about.  The intense, claustrophobic, bass-heavy instrumentation swirls around a monotonic boy-girl duet, punctuated by shards of distorted guitar.  So I'm guessing it's not a love song, then.

There are some tracks that evoke a feeling so powerfully that for their duration they override whatever situation or feelings you have.  My favourite example of this is Portishead's Roads, which I can't hear without being dropped into a film noir for three minutes.  In Monkey's case, it's a night drive in a road movie.  To a Destiny.  With DEATH.  Er, no, it's not a zombie film though.

I'm not sure it really matters what it's about, anyway.  Like I said in my intro piece, often words are just pegs to hang a tune on.  As long as the lyrics don't actively intrude, they're OK.  "Tonight you will be mine", they sing, "Tonight the monkey dies".   Well, it all sounds portentous enough to match the music.

I've just watched the video for the first time and it shows the band playing in the middle of a road, at night, in winter (hey, I wasn't far wrong!) before being abducted by a UFO.  See, I told you - no zombies!


Back to the complete Best Tracks of the Noughties

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