Often times a fresh collaboration is enough to open the floodgates of musical inspiration. Some people are just meant to make music together. It may take a long road to get there but when the stars align correctly and fate allows them in a room together, magic can happen. This seems to be the story of our recent discovery Clap Monkey.
The band was formed in the Spring of 2017 by Anthony Neff and Jeff Mullins in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both members of Clap Monkey had been making music for quite a while before they came together. Anthony was taking a break from playing acoustic shows in support of his four previous solo records. Jeff was getting back to playing drums after concentrating on guitar for a string of bands over the last decade.
A chance meeting to have some fun jamming quickly turned into a regular occurrence. The musical faucet of inspiration was turned on and songs started coming fast and furious. Clap Monkey was born. The sound is a stripped down rock and roll that is loud, energetic, and loose. Most importantly, you can sense the musicians having a good time from the first listen.
Now only 1 year into their existence, Clap Monkey will be releasing their debut record Like A Rocket on April 13th. The 13 track record comes 13 months after they started jamming together. (Sounds like some fun for all you numerology nerds, lol.)
The opener “Night Leans Down” gives us that chugging guitar and straight drum beat that depicts the raw fun of rock and roll. This is a song you can picture yourself rocking out to in a crowded dive bar.
There is a funk and blues influenced mood on “Martin St.” The bounce of the song will get heads bopping and asses shaking as each member shows off their chops. The energy is turned up on “Escape From Planet Clap Monkey.” Some stutter-step vocal delivery sets your mind into a type of trance before the attack of the chorus knocks you off your feet.
Enjoy a sampler of Clap Monkey here:
On “Can’t Let Go” the speakers filled with that raw energy again. I’m still kind of amazed this is only 2 guys creating all this sound. It takes me back to a time spent in many a bar watching great music come from a tiny stage.
For the closer “Blue November Flame,” the duo slows it down a little to let us ease back into our daily lives. The lyrics stand out here as relatable and emotion-filled. It is obvious these 2 have been making music for a long time and now together as Clap Monkey there is new life to take them into the future.
Keep up with the band on their Website and Social Media accounts: