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Album Review: MK:III by American Space Monkey

Canadian hardcore act American Space Monkey release their third album MK:III on 1st March. Hailing from Vancover the band combine punk and metal influences together into a unique version of hardcore.  Very noisy, often fast paced, but will change directions on a dime without any warning.

MK:III marks the band’s first 100% professionally recorded release, recorded and mixed by Mark McKitrick (Youth Decay, Comeback Kid) and mastered by Stuart McKillop (Living with Lions, Death from Above:1979) at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver BC Canada.

Visceral and crushing throughout you’ll find MK:III to be a record that treads the line between traditional hardcore and an almost black metal sound. The vocal certainly comes in on the black metal side of things, team that up with the sporadic blast beats and you’ll often find this to be the most enthralling side of the band.

The album is bookended by the two sides of American Space Monkey, opener ‘Leech Waters’ is frantic high paced hardcore, there’s the breakdowns, momentary rest bit before it explodes again in brutal riffs, then you have closer ‘I Eat Ass For The Lord’ which has itself firmly rooted in a more black metal sound. Ignore the awful song title and you’ll find it to be the standout track.

You could be forgiven for dismissing this solely on the awful band name and track titles like ‘Dick Kicking Cock Knocker’. To be honest we probably would have if we hadn’t gone in blind and listened to album without checking the track listing. Furthermore, the vocal work is going to be an acquired taste. This isn’t accessible, this isn’t easy on the ear. Certainly, not one to introduce to someone not familiar with hardcore. Big question though, is it actually any good?

Well kind of. Yes it’s a unique sound, but it isn’t one that’s going to blow you away. As hardcore crossover albums go it’s enjoyable but not one you’ll rush back to. ‘Metapod’ and ‘Book of Lies’ should be your go-to tracks. At a push, they’re the most accessible with the latter containing some clean singing and some brilliantly heavy riffs. The rest of MK:III is decent and worthy of your attention.

AD Rating 6/10

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