Black Monk Time

The Monks

Black Monk Time

The Monks are one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest curiosities. Formed in the early ‘60s by American G.I.’s stationed in Germany, upon discharge the group hit the German music circuit with a sound much more raw than even the rough German streets were accustomed to. Their lone album, Black Monk Time was met with puzzlement and disinterest, as it sounded far too primitive with tunes labeled “Shut Up” and “I Hate You” that could best be described as truth in advertising. These are tough, unrepentant tracks that four decades later can be heard as the building blocks of punk rock from the minimalist chug of the Stooges to the whiplash motion of the Ramones through to the hardcore nihilism of Black Flag. “We Do Wie Du” is positively polished in comparison with its coordinated back-up vocals and the organ solo that leads off “Drunken Maria” suggests a group capable of putting a fraternity party in its place. The oddball harmonies of “Love Came Tumblin’ Down” accompanied by the scattershot rhythms make the Monks one of the most distinctly weird groups of any era.

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