Hear The Track HereMike Atkins (aka Monktrump) has - over the years - gained some momentum on Soundclick and other sites and although I have often found his music interesting and worthwhile, I haven't as yet been knocked out by his stuff. I think even he would admit that he started out behind the eight ball and has come a considrable way since then, as a producer, arranger and yes, as a songwriter too. In fact last year saw him gather his first Highly Recommended from me with Long Time (May 2006) a collaboration with yet another guitarist, Simon Williams. That track still sits on my hard drive so by his standards Mike must have had a pretty good year last year all in all.
Aaahh but that was then and this is now...
Damn, there's always a catch. Reading through the comments posted on their SC message board (if you ask me what those are, I'll have to kill you) Monktrump is compared to a lot of people including Toto (which I can see) and Crash Test Dummies (which I can't see) and I can think of dozens of influences of my own. That is where I believe Monktrump is going to come good because he does classic rock tunes in a very classic manner - particularly if you like your rock with a distinct American flavour. Now, no matter what you do in this genre it's going to sound derivative - its in the nature of the beast. So although I recognise a good many of the guitar licks that sprinkle this song, Monktrump never once overuses them. The real danger - in this case - being in the opening powerchords intro and first verse.
As soon as the chorus kicks in though, you could forgive him anything. As a big fan of this particular strain of rock (guitar driven vocal rock), I found myself liking this immensely because when all is said and done, this is a cracking song. I have been having an epiphany just lately concerning Status Quo and their contribution to rock and - I've said this before about Monktrump's sound - the proof is right here. Even though he's probably never really listened to that buncha headbangers Monktrump's latest works feature a lot of the same good time, straight ahead rock music, and there ain't nuttin wrong with that. Funnily enough he also seems to be going further and further towards the songwriting style of Starting Over, Cameron Peirce and others and that - believe it or not - is a high compliment indeed. As you know, I love to be proved wrong about an artist and Monktrump is an artist I have been wrong about because this track is the best I've heard from this source yet.
Highly Recommended Classic Rock.