COMMUNICAUTION - This Monkey Is An Artist

Communicaution - This Monkey Is An Artist

14 songs
34:28 minutes
***** **
Winged Skull / Fond Of Life


When Eric isn't fronting his street punk band Rise-Up or writing death threats into guestbooks, he sits down with his acoustic guitar and writes songs under the name Communicaution. Unselfconsciously quoting his influences, Communication borrows stylistically from the godfathers Dylan and Cash, adds Bragg's protest song trademarks and spices it up with Jawbreaker punk attitude. After a demo-CD on Svaveldioxid, he is back with this first regular CD co-released by the Luxembourgish label Winged Skull and their German counterparts Fond Of Life.

This Monkey Is An Artist is by no means a bad album, starting with three real smashers, showing Communicaution from his faster, more rocking side. Those songs by themselves would justify a higher rating, but from there on I feel a drop in dynamics. Or to put it otherwise, with songs seldom running longer than two minutes, and guest musicians only on three tracks, it lacks the sonic richness of regular rock music. Of course this is singer/songwriter stuff, and to put it sincerely, we have heard already much worse from established international bands. Yet it's hearing a piano on You're Not Dead! which makes me wish for more instruments. But hey, it's a solo project, doing solo gigs, so I guess this album sounds exactly as it was intended: raw, unpolished, yet clear in its recording of the acoustic guitar that makes you feel like standing right in front of it.

Lyrically it's all very personal, telling stories about how fucked up life can be, and how good it is sometimes to be alive. Nothing spectacular, less protest song than story teller, with an emotional twist, but nothing to get mad about either.

Communicaution's cover version of the Cars' classic song Just What I Needed stands out as another highlight on This Monkey Is An Artist, which in the end turns out to be a good record with street credibility and a couple of really overwhelming tracks that show that Eric is a songwriter to be reckoned with, not only with Communicaution but within the sphere of punk bands he's involved in. Sure, it is not yet so great that it covers its half hour running time without the occasional hiccup, but that shouldn't prevent you to check out Luxembourg's most depraved street poet of the moment.

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