One of the more unique rock and roll stories is that of The Monks. Five American soldiers based in Germany decide to form a rock and roll band, and in the process doff monk robes and sport the traditional monk tonsure. They record an album, Black Monk Time, tour, and then break up–nothing more than a hobby, yet a hobby that would become a legendary and mythic rock group. Though they only made a handful of recordings, any discovery of new material is cause for celebration; thus, when it was announced that Third Man Records had obtained a tape of the band’s final recordings, it was indeed an exciting day. The band’s final studio recording, “I’m Watching You,” is an exciting blues-rocker, one that feels comparable with The Doors, and one that shows they were much more than mere amateurs. It’s an exciting number, though the rest of the recently-released EP isn’t nearly as exciting–the songs are merely okay, and feel a bit generic, truthfully. But “I’m Watching You?” Wow.
Hamburg Recordings 1967 is available via Third Man Records.