Monday 30 October 2017

Iron Monkey - 9-13 (Album Review)

Release date: October 20th 2017. Label: Relapse Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

09-13 - Tracklisting

1.Crown of Electrodes 04:21
2.OmegaMangler 04:48
3.9-13 05:36
4.Toadcrucifier - R.I.P.PER 05:31
5.Destroyer 04:16
6.Mortarhex 03:30
7.The Rope 04:46
8.Doomsday Impulse Multiplier 05:10
9.Moreland St. Hammervortex 09:46


Jim Rushby - Guitars, Vocals
Steve Watson - Bass
Brigga - Drums


As band returns go, the news that Iron Monkey were returning after eighteen years was extremely unexpected and the reactions mixed with some bemoaning the fact they had returned while others rejoiced at the news but listen to their new album 9-13 and you will see that they are just continuing where they left off and completing some unfinished business, which is fair enough given how the band ended.

Now consisting of a trio featuring original members, vocalist and guitarist Jim Rushby and bassist Steve Watson who are joined on drums by Chaos UK/FUK man Brigga, the three piece simply annihilate with this new material. 9-13 sounds as vital and angry as you'd expect and the riffs and grooves that threaten to kick in your speakers are immense.

It's to his credit that vocalist Rushby does his own thing and delivers a storming performance while he doesn't try to ape Johnny Morrow (the bands original vocalist who sadly passed away in 2002) and why should he even try, this is the new Iron Monkey and they sound just as pissed off on 9-13 as they did back in the 1990s and the albums raging sound pays tribute to Morrow perfectly.

9-13 kicks off impeccably with the furious hardcore sounding Crown Of Electrodes and the rest of the album that follows is just as good as that initial detonation of noise. Omegamangler follows and it is like the band have never been away with its massive sounding wall of riff led noise and this continues with the albums title track. That song that starts with that familiar Iron Monkey feedback and another lurching and extremely heavy groove while Toadcrucifier - R.I.P.Per is a giant ball of focused rage.

Other tracks on the album like the rabid Destroyer, the furious blast of Mortarhex and the rabid lurch of The Rope sound as unhinged as you would want and as 9-13 concludes with the majestic nihilism of Doomsday Impulse Multiplier and the feedback laden closing track Moreland St.Hammervortex, it feels great to have Iron Monkey back doing what they do best.

There is a big hardcore punk influence on 9-13 and that merges in well with the bands sound and although the sludge elements are obviously there in the bands sound, there is a rawer and more precise vibe going that sounds immense.

When Iron Monkey announced their return, the sound of the online community moaning that it wouldn't be as good as before was as boring as it was predictable and started up straight away after the announcement was made much to the delight of the band . As Iron Monkey were always a band who didn't give a fuck what anybody thought and just got on with their misanthropic and brilliant noise and that is exactly what they do with 9-13.

This is an album to be played loud with a complete disregard to anything else and its great to have the band back, hopefully the next album won't take as long to come this time around.

Words by Gavin Brown