30,000 Monkies – I Ate Myself To Grow Twice As Big album review

Belgian noisemakers 30,000 Monkies throw some terror into their tomfoolery

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Indulging in behaviour like titling previous records things like Somewhere Over The Painbow, anonymously releasing an EP on tape on April Fool’s Day and comparing themselves to Sleep, Lightning Bolt and Merzbow certainly makes any band appear at least a little crazy.

Unfortunately for this Beringen, Belgium-based quartet, telling people you’re crazy only makes you look about as nuts as Phil in accounting with his florescent kipper ties.

But don’t let that put you off entirely – under its awkward pretensions to craziness I Ate Myself… is a deceptively sprawling record that sees the band venturing to the very furthest poles of heavy music and attempting to coalesce their findings into something of their own, albeit with varying degrees of success. So, whilst there’s the slightly tepid, Harvey Milk-meets-Jane Doe-era-Converge slog of Melína or Coccinelle, elsewhere it’s the more gruelling, noise-addled Mountainesque II and I, or the 13-minute closer, Juice – which does sound like Lightning Bolt playing Merzbow backwards – where the troupe live up to their own lofty comparisons.