Release Date: May 7, 2013
Record label: Cherry Red
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Dance-Pop, Punk/New Wave, New Wave, New Romantic, Sophisti-Pop
The Blow Monkeys first re-emerged from the reunion wilderness in 2008 with the accomplished Devil’s Tavern, before consolidating with 2011’s Staring At The Sea: a deceptively pastoral and acoustically inclined affair influenced by Dr Robert’s relocation to the arid Andalucían countryside. With immaculate timing, their latest, Feels Like A New Morning, arrives in the slipstream of the deluxe reissues of the band’s first two LPs, Limping For A Generation and Animal Magic. Once again, there’s a second CD included (this time featuring solo acoustic Dr Robert versions of the band’s hits), but it’s the new songs that truly demand attention here.
The Blow Monkeys attempted a reunion in 2010 and, in retrospect, it feels like a bit of a dry run, as the 2013 album Feels Like a New Morning resonates deeper as a reunion, capturing the band's breezy, cheerful aesthetic better than its predecessor. It's a curious balance between effervescence and skill, and the band delivers an album that is neither fussy nor hurried: it's comfortable and settled, the sound of middle-aged musicians enjoying their craft. Perhaps it is a craft that appeals solely to listeners who grew up with the band, but the Blow Monkeys happily play toward this distinctly defined audience and, as such, Feels Like a New Morning is precise in its attack, the band never having a note out of place, always placing melody at the forefront, staying true to their well-known hits while never quite ignoring whatever new fashions that have happened since their debut, either.