Download Den: Saucy Monky – Awkward

Saucy Monky

L.A. quartet Saucy Monky can write a damn catchy radio hook, and that skill has proved fruitful for the band since its inception in 2001. Saucy Monky, comprised of Irish-born Annmarie Cullen (guitars, vocals), Cynthia Cantania (guitars, vocals), Steve Giles (bass), and Megan Jane (drums), have found radio success in Ireland with a string of radio hits over the years. More recently, the band have become somewhat of soundtrack placement darlings stateside with inclusions on Veronica Mars, Blue Bloods. iCarly, Alcatraz, and several other shows. It’s no secret that such commercial success is characterized as a misstep to much in the hippest corners of the current music environment, but a good pop song can have its virtues no matter how the naysayers characterize it.

Saucy Monky’s new three-song EP, titled Trophy Girl (Part 1), is a fine collection of strong pop hooks with plenty of sharp edges and evocative lyrics. The EP’s single, “Awkward,” tells the our narrator’s tale of bumping into her ex with his newest trophy girl in tow. Teeming hostility gives way to the more forgiving cover  of excruciating awkwardness as our narrator reverts to feeling like a confused school-age girl while Cabernet spills all over her party dress. It’s the kind of pop fodder all of us can relate to with unfortunate ease, but the agony likely registers strongest with the female contingency of the audience. Saucy Monky plays a killer hand though by layering menacing guitars and a hefty amount of attitude, allowing “Awkward” to let loose like as an inviting anthem with a hooky refrain rather than a mopey lament.

In recent years, Saucy Monky has played European shows with the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, Pink, Wilco and PJ Harvey. As unlikely of a collection as that may seem, a few spins of “Awkward” helps the associations make sense. The band’s knack for crafting a Top 40 hook is obvious on first listen, but the attitude and amount of thought expressed in the music isn’t hard to imagine alongside PJ Harvey’s brilliant record Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. “Awkward” has a kindred radio hit to songs of a late ’90s heyday when Garbage, Hole and The Breeders all vied for Top 40 play. There’s a beating heart here, so don’t be quick to dismiss it just because it’s friendly on the ears.

Saucy Monky – “Awkward”

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Saucy Monky

Trophy Girl (Part 1) Track List

1. Awkward

2. Slow Lane

3. Ghosts

Video: Saucy Monky – “Awkward”

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