Review Archive

‘Of Stones and Bones’ from 3 Daft Monkeys – a diversity of influence, style and approach

(September 24, 2013)

There’s energised folk, smatterings of jazziness, layered harmonies, invention and innovation on the studio album ‘Of Stones and Bones’ - exactly as you would expect from 3 Daft Monkeys. Possibly an 3 daft monkeysacquired taste for some, but suffice to say, if their brand of musical mayhem grabs you then this album will be more of what you fancy.  The quirky, different edge that the band brings to its music is allegedly forged from the depths of their Cornish roots as they distil its folk tales and mysteries through their songs.

Perhaps it’s more accurate to pin the unique 3 Daft Monkeys sound down to the idiosyncratic songwriting of the singular talent that is Tim Ashton and Athene Roberts. Whatever it may be, there’s a diversity of influence, style and approach across ‘Of Stones and Bones’ that is essential 3 Daft Monkeys and that essence always attracts and engages, and it’s more eclectic and wide-ranging than ever.

Now aided by Lukas Drinkwater on double bass and Rich Mulryne percussion (perhaps they intend to eventually morph into four mad simians - just idle speculation) there’s even more adventure and depth to enjoy. The songs on ‘Of Stones and Bones’ lie in wait to ambush you with their passion - from wildly frenetic observation through salutary advice and reflective narrative to faintly macabre revelations. There’s the murderous tale of ‘Sarah, the Devil and Jack’, the exuberance of ‘Jenny and the Changeling’ the faintly disturbing ‘Morwenna’ and ‘Reverend Hawker of Morwenstow’ waiting in the shadows to seize you. And when you least expect it the album closes with a couple of slightly more 'in tradition' songs 'One and All' and 'The Stranger'.

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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