Filled with all the raucous energy, exquisite anguish and well-traveled thump that one expects from a Sirius.B show, the band’s new EP, Monkey Robot Soldier does not disappoint. The self-described “absurdist Gypsy folk funk punk” group recently returned to its roots with a strings-based, mostly-acoustic lineup (they also dropped “metal” from their classification).
The 5-song disc contains a couple of chestnuts: “Bella Ciao” is attacked with certain vigor (singer/guitarist Pancho Romero Bond) is almost ragged-voiced from the exertion; “Hava Nagila” starts with the slow procession of a funeral only to gather both speed and levity as it wends through seven minutes of instrumental and vocal gymnastics. “Charango” is a stand-out, composed in movements and oozing desperate passion. The only departure from form on this album is the fantastical title track about a kind of alien transformer-type primate (“I got no ‘nanas but I do got phasers; got a long tail that shoots red lazers”) performed with a particularly menacing hurdy gurdy drone and some crazy-awesome B-movie sound effects. But for all the madness of the song, the layered strings and tribal percussion rise through the caucauphony. This album is in the spirit of fun, but it’s obvious that Sirius.B takes its musicianship… seriously.