"Badmonkey's debut doesn't sound like a first recording. From the opening cut's pining to be on the "Radio" to the tale of a fractured life on "Coming Down," this is a highly polished release." The Toledo Blade The members of Badmonkey are all long-time Toledo musicians. They are Rick Nease (guitar, lead vocals), Richard Lange (guitar), Bill Lenhart (drums, percussion), Dan Schroeder (keyboards, vocals), and Jim Foltz (bass, vocals). The band started when songwriter Nease approached the others to help with a solo project involving Detroit's Harmonie Park Studios. As the musicians rehearsed, they began writing songs together, creating a strong, unique blend of pop, blues, world beat, and rock. The project evolved from a solo undertaking to a group endeavor. Richard, Bill, Dan and Jim all left their bar bands and began to focus 100 percent on the new project. The name Badmonkey was hung on the band, based on a concept drawn from barroom anthropology that there's still a little bad monkey left in us all. After months of writing and arranging, Badmonkey entered the recording studio with 11 songs. Producer Jay Kuehn approached the project with great enthusiasm. The recording sessions helped flesh out their sound and created a rich, emotional sound supported by a solid beat and catchy hooks. Several of the best Detroit Musicians were excited by the project and lent a hand. On backup vocals for "Broadcast Doors," a rocking reggae tune, we enlisted the help of Rachel May (Broadzilla), Liz Larin and Chris McCall. For "Real Love" we brought in the horns of 'Gangster Fun' and for backup vocals on "Fall on Me" Graham Strachan, (Rob Roy). All of it has paid off. Badmonkey has released it's debut album, which features unique songs that look at the dark side of love. REVIEWS: Layering it's organic rock n' roll with a popsmith's sense of melody, Badmonkey finds there's still room for smart music. --Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press Badmonkey mixes blues, reggae, rock and pop. The icing on the cake - meaningful, dark and sometimes political lyrics. Songs such as 'Love Letter From Hell', 'Fall On Me' and 'I-75' (a song about Nease's daily drive from his home in Toledo to work in Detroit), are true to the heart. - Melody Baetens, The Detroit News - Badmonkey's debut doesn't sound like a first recording. From the opening cut's pining to be on the 'Radio' to the tale of a fractured life on 'Coming Down,' this is a highly polished release. The group, made up of veterans of Toledo's bar band scene, covers the gamut of musical styles, moving easily from pop to reggae to rock. Propelled by songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist Rick Nease's smart, concise lyrics and the band's affinity for hitting just the right groove for the tune, Badmonkey deserves more than just regional attention. - Rod Lockwood, Toledo Blade 'With one foot in Toledo and the other in Detroit, Badmonkey is ready to break out...' -- Dave Yonke, Toledo Blade If you ever sit down and listen to an entire album, and realize that some of the melodies have been embedded in your brain, you may either curse the band or realize that it's onto something that's a lot better than the radio fodder you're spoon-fed every day. The latter is the case with the self-titled debut from Toledo group Badmonkey. Throughout the album, the music combines the clean tones of Dire Straits ('Woman in Love'), world music reminiscent of Paul Simon's dabbling on 'Graceland' ('Hides Her Heart'), the guitar solos of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour ('Love Letter from Hell'), and Elvis' 'Viva Las Vegas' ('Real Love'). Although you may hear hints of other artists in Badmonkey's music, comparisons don't do the band justice. Badmonkey has a fresh perspective on rock with crisp production and a thinking man's pop-hook mentality that stands on it's own. It makes you glad that our hairy monkey-like ancestors evolved into the hairy musicians of today. Now, run out to Boogie Records, and buy the CD! -- Steve Howell, Toledo City Paper What an excellent band; finely crafted musical stylism that runs the gamut of styles. This is truly & clearly a super-star musical entity in the making. A perfect example of a band that is head & shoulders above the rest of the pack.So far above 'so called major label acts;' A band that is so deserving of national & global recognition, that it is a travesty if anyone has yet to hear their talent & musical direction. The song 'Fall On Me' is a superlative gem of songwriting craft & structural integrity. IUMA.com.
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