Monday, January 5, 2009

Raft of Dead Monkeys

"Who the hell are Raft of Dead Monkeys?" That's the reaction you're most likely to get if you ask a record store employee or damn near anyone about this band. Sure, they've got a page on Wikipedia... but these guys are a mostly-forgotten gem from the late 90's & early 2000's. The band consisted predominantly of members from 90 Pound Wuss, Roadside Monument and Suffering & the Hideous Thieves. They released an e.p. called DBM on Make Believe Recordings in 1999, an album by the name of Thoroughlev on Burnout Records in 2001 & had one song on the 'Is It... Dead?' Seattle hardcore compilation which was released by Crash Rawk, rocknroleplay & Sub Poop records in the year of our lord 2001. They also had an unreleased album called "Joey the Pigfucker" which I believe (based on the liner notes inside of DBM) was originally going to be called "Hot Pants College" - though a song by that name appears on Joey the Pigfucker. Raft basically had two different musical periods: DBM era Raft was more punk, while Thoroughlev was a bit more like Roadside Monument or even Sharks Keep Moving, kind of indie/math rock & not quite as abrasive. Joey the Pigfucker shows them merging the two sounds. I just learned that John Spalding, who played in both Raft of Dead Monkeys & 90 Pound Wuss, passed away on November 23, 2008 from cancer. There is a fund set up in his name at Bank of America. It is "John D Spalding Medical Fund" you can go in to any Bank of America and make a deposit. All funds will go to the family to help pay expenses.
If you've got any more specific info about RODM, have any memories, or if you have problems with the links please leave a comment.
Joey the Pigfucker

1 comment:

  1. i think raft, 90 pound wuss, blenderhead, roadside, even frodus got kind of glossed over by some people because of the t&n association, regardless of if those bands were "christian bands" or not, frodus for example was t&n trying to branch out and bring in other artists. i think 90 pound wuss somehow fit in with the christian label, but i'm not positive and if it did it's not's just intense and solid music. people really should go back and check them out. maybe it was those associations that kept more people form knowing about them or raft?

    raft may have been sort of a tongue in cheek self aware parody of rock and punk, with so many ridiculous songs about prostitutes and hot pants...but joke or not it's freaking amazing music. songs like ramrod the wizard on pigfucker still blow my mind, the guitar work is amazing and like you said this sort of perfect blend of math and punk. then throroughlev brings it to a new level entirely and it's almost like "what if slint had been scarier?".

    i think too, and this is just my own speculation, maybe RoDM was kind of a breaking away from that devoted tooth and nail audience for the musicians involved, just by throwing themselves into this totally intense and visceral sort of 'obscenity' as it were. i think the wiki says it's a reaction to the state of overblown rock, but is it a reaction to "christian rock" as well? just by being so different? i guess there's really no way to tell.

    all this aside i really like the band! it's weird being from upstate new york and having heard about them so long ago, but i guess that's the plus side to having some friends who did dig that tooth and nail stuff back in highschool. i just found this blog because i was trying to figure out if Thoroughlev ever came out on vinyl...still not sure.

    but i wanted to pass this on to you:

    john spalding's final record, which directly supports his wife's fund to pay those outstanding medical bills. i guess all the studio time was donated by the studio pearl jam records at and there's a plethora of other amazing artits from seattle who collaborated with him on it. definitely worth checking out!