Further Proof Of Something: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 84

Stinky Monkey Finger - Slapping The Bag - DF Records - 13 songs - CD

I tend to get a build-up of stuff to review (especially CDs, since I usually let records get priority) and so I've misplaced the envelope this was sent in but I believe this…group? project? has something to do with Dennis Baker, whose work I've reviewed here before. (I confirmed this when I looked up where to get the CD– see below). This is a weird one. Somewhere close to half of it is lo-fi acoustic sorta-indie rock, sometimes featuring synth and/or drum machine as well, which is most reminiscent to me of the lo-fi acoustic songs on a Guided By Voices record. That's the nearest comparison I can draw, I'd say. However, instead of then kicking into a full band tune like "Echos Myron" or whatever after one of these songs, Stinky Monkey Finger instead goes into full experimental weirdness. Some of these songs, like "Jazzy Jeff Becomes A Pig" and "ZLT" have a kind of quality to them that makes me want to say they're kind of like the aural equivalent of stumbling across some strange video online, the kind of video that there's nothing necessarily wrong with it in any kind of tangible sense, but you just feel like it wasn't exactly made for you to see– and yet it's there, available to be seen (or heard) by the general public, so clearly in some sense it was meant for you to see. And then there's "I Won't Ask," which is a rather melodramatic piano piece with some keyboard strings and opens with "Have you ever opened an envelope? I mean really opened it up?" Is this song a joke? If it's a parody, it's an interesting one, and if it isn't, well, it's an abrupt change of gears that doesn't really mix with anything else on here. That's kind of my question at the center of this whole thing. I genuinely can't tell how much of this is at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek and how much is entirely serious. In any case, some of the more normal songs ("Have You Met Me?" and "I Fold You," for example) are not bad, and while I still don't know what to make of certain parts of the rest of it, it makes for an intriguing listen. 3.3/5

(I can't even find where you can get the CD! You can listen to some of these at soundcloud.com/dennis-baker-13 and perhaps contact the artist through there)

Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email vaguelythreatening@gmail.com or send it directly to Observer headquarters: The Lakewood Observer, c/o Buzz Kompier, 14900 Detroit Avenue, Suite 205, Lakewood, OH 44107.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 2:00 PM, 02.05.2019