Thursday, November 29, 2018

Monkey Trap's punk meets power pop aesthetic on "Ride"

The track Ride by West Philadelphia'a Monkey Trap is an over modulated garage rocker packed tightly with sounds. From Johnny Vitale's (guitar, vox) vocal performance that sizzles somewhere between Justin Warfield and Julian Casablancas, post punk toned bass and drums by Joe Sileo (bass) and Malhar Singh (drums) and strident guitar lead lines played with wild abandon by Jacob Hershman there is a deep lo-fi well here with an almost "I don't give a fuck" aesthetic that absolutely works on this track. Producer Robert Armatas does a commendable job of not polishing up the sound too much. Love the kind of feral nature here, the ferocity of play,  breaking of sonic rules which give this track a very cool punk meets power pop sound . I absolutely love the background vocals, they might actually (along with other things) make this song. This one will be in my head for a long time. 

Robb Donker


Born in the same sweaty Philadelphia basement scene that bred Dr. Dog and Low Cut Connie, Monkey Trap formed in 2017. The band plays an intricate blend of indie punk and folk, which can be traced back to lead singer/rhythm guitarist Johnny Vitale’s dormroom demos. To help give his tracks life, Vitale enlisted drummer/synth programmer Malhar Singh, bassist/vocalist Joe Sileo, and lead guitarist Jacob Hershmann. The new lineup yielded the aggressive, yet nuanced sound that Monkey Trap is recognized for. The band then built up their stage show under the name Pico, headlining a string of concerts hosted by Vitale’s own booking agency, Penn Records.
In the summer of 2017 the group released a couple of teaser singles, their first venture into distributing music beyond the live stage. After spending the rest of 2017 and early 2018 writing, the band released their debut album Content is Chronic in October 2018, under the moniker Monkey Trap. Teaming up with producer/engineer Robert Armatas, Content is Chronic displays an effortless blend of early metal, 80’s new wave, dance rock, and classic 60's pop.

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