blackmonktime-coverARTIST: The Monks

ALBUM: Black Monk Time

SOUNDS LIKE: Pre-apocalyptic paleo-punk mess around music

FUN FACT: This is the second consecutive Complex Album of the Week to prominently feature a banjo. And you said Country & Western was dead!

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING IT: 'Cause it's weird, funny and funky as shit. The Monks were five U.S. servicemen stationed in Germany during the mid-sixties who stuck around after their discharge and proceeded to make some of the strangest records ever...

Originally released in Germany in 1966 (and never pressed in the U.S.), Black Monk Time gained cult status in the ensuing years, influencing everyone from punk rockers to Ferris Bueller (we're assuming John Hughes was listening to the Monks' "Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice" when he wrote FB's monologues). While psychedelic rock was taking off in Britain and America, the Monks were busy performing unnatural acts on standard rock n' roll in Germany: jerryrigging banjos to play electrically, employing a fuzz bass, and shouting completely demented call and response vocals (not to mention shaving monks' tonsures into their scalps). Of course that much weirdness can only last so long, and the group disbanded before recording another album. Light In the Attic Records drops a great new reissue of BMT today, along with a collection of early rarities, The Early Years 1964-1965.

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KEY TRACKS (LISTEN):

"I Hate You"

"Complication"

"Drunken Maria"

CLICK HERE TO BUY 'BLACK MONK TIME' ON MP3 FOR $8.99!