OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Recess Monkey – Field Trip CD Review

Seattle’s Recess Monkey return with a pristine collection of kindie rock songs on “Field Trip” (to be released 6/9/09). The new record, the band’s 5th, maps a traceable progression from quirky & goofy to quirky & great.

As the boys of Recess Monkey spend their days surrounded by 5 and 6-year-olds, they seem uniquely capable of penning tunes that capture the daily life of youngsters. Drew, Jack and Daron have flashed their teacher wit and elementary school humor before, and “Field Trip” is no exception. “Ice Pack” is a funny spoken/sung diary of the scrapes and scars fresh from the playground and, well, “L.I.C.E” is probably pretty self-explanatory…and equally as hilarious.

The brilliantly conceived “Sack Lunch” (video below) is the best kid’s song of ’09 (and favorite of the Mrs.). Told from the point of view of a crinkly brown bag who
vows to be reunited with it’s grade-school owner while enduring suffocatingly close quarters, leaky neighbors and long waits. “Sack Lunch” is the prototypical Recess Monkey song and an example of what sets these guys apart. There aren’t many bands that can write a song like this and make it work so darn well. Drew Holloway’s ability to pack himself inside a lunch bag and see things from it’s point of view is remarkable.

Crave a little 70’s vibe? You’re in luck as “Bubble Factory” puts the band’s disco chops to the test and comes away with straight A’s! The Bear fancies this one for her in-room dance parties with the Mouse. You’d think she was the one floating “high, high, high” inside a bubble as she acts out the lyrics.

While Recess Monkey would have no problem rockin’ out for 40 straight minutes, one of the things that makes “Field Trip” work so well is the band’s ability and willingness to tap the brakes, giving the listener an opportunity to come up for air and the songs a chance to get a little sentimental. On the banjo-tinged beauty, “Tiny Telephone”, we hear of a special connection between two individuals who, while separated by a great distance, manage to keep open “a line from your heart to mine.” The album’s closing tune, “Firefly Lullaby”, is a sweet ode to warm evenings spent outdoors as your child floats amidst the lightening bugs in the fragrant air of summertime.

Without a single weak moment, “Field Trip” is an album destined to end 2009 at, or near, the top of many best-of lists. You’ll be hooked from the first listen, and still be singing along after the 100th. You’re kids may have to wrestle this one away from you. Or, buy multiple copies just to be safe!

Check out more hilarious Recess Monkey videos (they’ve already made 4 for “Field Trip” songs!) here. Read/watch/listen to OWTK’s coverage of Recess Monkey at the 2009 KC Jiggle Jam.

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