Tuff Enuff Records
Review by Eddie Shaw (bass player with The Monks)
I may be the wrong person to convey my impressions about this album because I am surely biased. These songs have a personal significance to me, as the bass player for The Monks, and to see how someone else treats the material (the idea) and expresses it, was a distinct pleasure and joy. I thoroughly enjoyed the album that even looks a bit like the monks’ album. I couldn’t wait to hear it and when I did, I took notes to describe how each song sounded to me. Here they are, starting with Side A.
- Higgle-dy Piggle-dy – Awesome bass; I know that sound and Ye Nuns insist on all the cacophony and mayhem needed to play it – I like the guitar solo! It put a big smile on my face.
- Complication– sounds primitive, which is the way it is supposed to sound – and the energy is very hot – it’s moves. I like the slight off-loading of the organ solo. So this is how nuns do the liturgy! Great ending too.
- Boys Are Boys– moves fast. Again I like it! That’s a good speed! When I hear the guitar it seems to come out of nowhere and catches me off-guard – like it’s a different animal that crept into the song. Yeah, it’s organic!
- Wie Du– Okay we have a good idea here. I have not heard Ye Nuns texture of sounds performed like this by any other group. When the guitar solo comes, it gobbles everything up and I start laughing. Here, I had to check, to make sure the disc was not beginning to smoke or perhaps melt.
- Nun Time– This is the song that causes monks to fight with each other – when does the liturgical interpretation interfere with the spirit? The Vietnam War is over, but there was no problem here – It’s nun time. Debbie’s banjo keeps the head bobbing; and I didn’t know that nuns could be so sassy.
- Drunken Maria– as described by Nuns, tells me this is one tough group. Are the nuns and drunken Maria in the same room? It sounds like it and Maria is in troubbbbble! Again, it put a smile on my face.
- Pretty Suzanne– has a whole different face. A bit of angst – the second go around is interesting – stop and start – it’s good to hear a group put their own mark on songs. And I liked the vocal progression that is different from the original. I don’t like to hear the same sounds over and over and this song – could be one of my favorites – it gives me a whole new impression about the tune and I like to hear how other people interpret messages – something happened when it ended – as if what the hell? Again, it impressed me.
- I Hate You– Short scratching noises on the lead guitar indicate an underlying festering; or tension. Of course it’s that kind of a love song. The vocals ring true. The bass has a very rough voice and it gives a solid underpinning to the sound. I know this song and I like it when the bass wanders off into its own part of the woods. The feedback is a cry of pain followed by an angry but loving sound.
- Oh How To Do– I like the up-tempo pace – and when the lead vocalist sang “I’ve been gone for a long, long time” – for a split second I thought it was Gary. Solid! All these songs make me smile. It’s fun! It’s like eating fast and chewing hard. Take another bite, drink, bite, chew, throw things, and push everyone out of the room.
- Cuckoo – Who’s got it? A voice from inside the closet wants to know, and I suspect this voice does know who’s got it. I like it spoken like that – clunky with interesting instrumental harmony. I can’t find anything wrong with it. That voice in the closet has my cuckoo. I know it!
- Love Came Tumblin’ Down– Interesting beginning. At first I could not think of the title. This sounds more like some song the monks tried to describe, only to have the nuns tell them, “Get out of the way, guys! This is the way it really goes.”
- That’s My Girl– Some outspoken person just came into the room and is making sarcastic remarks about my girl. That’s my girl! Good tempo. I’m trying to hustle my girl out of there. No, no! That’s my girl. You can’t have my girl!
- Shut Up– Be a liar everywhere and – above all – don’t cry. It is my personal favorite of the original Monk songs. In this version the organ has a scary sound – like it could be the soundtrack of a horror film. The guitar solo is tattered and rough, just like it is supposed to be.
This was fun – I laughed and pranced throughout the whole album. It is such an honor to be able to have a fun part in this opera inside the cloister. Thank you, Ye Nuns!