A can of worms from the future
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 08/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is almost IMPOSSIBLE to believe! This Can album actually came out in 1969? It sounds *nothing* like everything else going on in the music scene at the time! This is really surprising to me.
The entire album has a VERY heavy punk rock vibe, the kind the Clash were the masters at 10 years later. Yes, a good comparison is probably the Clash, since the vocals remind me of what the Clash was doing 10 years later.
I'm surprised how noisy the guitar parts are- I can't even think of anyone else around the same time that had guitar playing like this.
Maybe, occassionally, Crazy Horse would have some guitar tricks that would border the craziness similar to the stuff heard from this Can album, but nothing else. Oh alright alright, let's not forget about the Velvet Underground too, geez!
This album is seriously one of a kind. The intense punk rock energy, the intense rhythms, the noise that just builds and builds, and digs deeper into your head. This is totally unlike everything else from the early 70's.
Maybe I'm crazy, but the final track called "You Doo Right" sounds a lot like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Come on, it does a little bit, in the vocals and the rhythm of the guitar playing. Obviously Can is the better band!
I don't think I'll ever forget the noisy guitar playing that can be heard throughout the entire album. That's the main thing that I will remember about it years from now.
Even look at the album cover- does that look like something from the late 60's? NO! It looks like something from the mid 80's when watching Saturday morning cartoons. I just can't believe this album came out when it did. Makes no sense. The vocals even sound like they're very 90's-ish. Weird! What's going on?"
Hypnotic and raw
Pieter | Johannesburg | 02/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Besides the brilliant cover art, this album also boasts some of the most gripping experimental music from the late 1960s.
The opening track Father Cannot Yell is a real stunner that reminds me of the Velvet Underground on tracks like European Son or White Light/White Heat with its raw pulsating bass, insistent keyboard and stuttering vocals.
Mary Mary So Contrary is a slow rock excursion with bluesy vocals, whilst Outside My Door is a powerful piece of acid rock psychedelia, not too dissimilar from Big Brother And The Holding Company's masterpieces like Piece Of My Heart or Combination Of The Two.
The long winding track You Doo Right is a 20 minute tour de force of impressive instrumental textures and varied vocals that captures many moods. It includes tribal drumming and veers from bluesy rock to world music to psychedelic textures.
Monster Movie certainly exerted a profound influence on post-punk music of the late seventies and eighties - Talking Heads and Public Image Limited being only two of the groups that come to mind. It remains a classic of brilliant power and has stood the test of time very well.
Granite Engravings On Shifting Plates
Wayne Dawson | New Zealand | 10/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Can remain the most enigmatic band of them all and after their colossal debut with Monster Movie, anything seemed possible. Fortuitous indeed was the moment four Europeans met up with Black American vocalist Malcolm Mooney whose searing, soul driven delivery continues to burn impressions after countless listening. The greatest scat singer ever, Mooney has a way of sitting in the pocket of free jazz drummer Jaki Liebezeit's groove, twisting it into a Neanderthal dance that will shake any person to the core, driving out all demons, as on You Doo Right (a twelve hour improvisation edited down to just over twenty minutes!) where the absence of a feminine persona darkens the night.
Father Cannot Yell immediately taps into another world that pains us to realise it's the one we're in, with free flowing rhythmic currents that expand and contract, swirling and shepherding the listener towards its eerie epicentre, this is trance music that seems to have retained its direct links with pre-historic time.
Mary, Mary, So Contrary is soul rock at its best with beautifully measured intensity building to a climax of revelatory euphoric release. Only a woman could be the cause of it all.
Outside My Door is not a pretty place to be, Mooney seethes with rage and the whole band blazes with the wrath of a meteorite. Never has rock music boiled with such molten rawness!
The instrumentation on Monster Movie is surprisingly minimal considering the enormity of their soundscape. Drums, guitar, bass, organ and lyrics all become transfigured into something familiar yet unfamiliar; for example no guitar has ever sounded like the guitar on Mary, Mary, So Contrary or You Doo Right.
Monster Movie is one of Can's masterpieces that remains in a league all of its own, it's elemental power and vision has already provided inspiration for so many and like all great art, it remains true to itself and will never be duplicated.