Munkafust – Down for Days

Munkafust
Down for Days

Pinch Hit has the best toys! With Shapeshifter’s album, The Opiate Seas, they sent a … well, a nice pipe, which is still in the original wrapping, I assure you. With Munkafust’s album, they sent a little die-cast bus, just like the one in flames on the band’s cover. Now that’s quality. Or is it a bribe?

Well, unlike most albums that come in for review, I didn’t want to like Down for Days. See, the packaging was busy and way too annoying, with lots of fires and explosions. The band members look like your rebel Sugar Ray-style band, and the CD contains a relatively worthless music video and interview video that takes way to long to load and exit. And several of the songs on here are your Sublime wanna-be mainstream sounding rock songs. So why do I end up with a positive impression of this album? Because it’s damn catchy and often so infectious I listen to it twice in a row.

Munkafust are something of a funk/pop/rock band. They like to use Sublime-like funk beats and guitars often, but then they dissolve into this ridiculously catchy pop that is pretty much irresistible. The vocals are pretty at one point and full of attitude at another. The band sounds like they’re between sounds, still trying to decide if funk/rock is the best way to go. Here’s my opinion: go with the pop, cuz they’re good at that.

“Control of My Heart” starts with a slightly funky beat, and I’m turned off already. But the chorus of this song is so damn catchy, I can’t help but like it by the end. The wah-wah funk guitar could go, though. “Yeah Yo” is a good example of songs the band can do without. Likely a crowd pleaser, the song has some cool guitar licks, but it annoys the heck out of me, especially the vocals that try to be all in-your-face. Now “Feel My Pulse” is a good example of the band at their pop best. They still sound a little bit mainstream for me, a tad Matchbox 20, but it’s infectious and quite nice. “Forgiveness” is a good example where the band tries to have a more soulful, funky feel and ends up coming across as some mediocre bar band. Now “My Home” is a nice pop/rock song that has an irresistible Blind Melon quality to it. Too bad it has to be followed by the terrible and just silly “Bank Account.” And to follow it up, the band has “Psycho” (“she’s a psycho (psycho!) psycho beast from hell!”) and “Helmet Party” (“sausage to my left, sausage to my right, I’m looking at a helmet party tonight!” ). I just can’t stand songs like this, go back to their pop music.

Munkafust sounds immature to me. Sure, they’re good musicians, especially on guitar. And they most definitely have the ability to craft an infectious chorus (I find myself singing along days later). But they keep shifting between the funk sound and the pop sound, and neither one is really their own. So while this album has its strong and weak points, I imagine they have a lot of potential for a great pop album in them.