Cub Koda & the Points: Noise Monkeys

Cub Koda & the Points
Noise Monkeys


THREE CHORDS, TWO guitars, one tune--no matter what inalienable truths may be held dear by neo-garage idealists, rockabilly slicksters, and Joan Jett, that is as sure a formula for tedium as exists. Yes, even when its practitioners boast a Detroit pedigree. So how to explain my unexpected enthusiasm for the release of a half-dozen nuggets from Cub Koda, the Michigander who midwifed the infernal Brownsville Station ("Smokin' in the Boys Room"), seemingly unprompted by any popular demand? Can you call these tracks, which might fit in the closing set of any bar band from here to Erie, Pennsylvania, a return to previous glory if that glory never existed?

Noise Monkeys never surpasses its killer one-two kickoff: the grisly "Fast Food-Slow Death" ("Rats run around in hot dog meat") and the dual harmony riffing of "Look at That White Girl Dance." In fact, for much of its duration, the disc proceeds much as expected: "Louie, Louie" revamp; Chuck Berry cover; Link Wray cover; and so on. And so forth. But who'd have expected the so forth to include "Spit It on the Floor," in which Cub is castrated in an untimely, interrupted bout of fellatio? Or "Yommo Yommo...Yow," which sounds like Sam the Sham covering Cameo's "Word Up"? Or "The Fang," who jets down from Mars to steal our womenfolk while an extraterrestrial chorus chants "Ooh-ba-da-ba-doo-bop/Zoink zoink"?

There is indeed something otherworldly about Cub's generic cool. Koda's a refugee from a planet where blooze never transmogrified into metal, working a strangulated Wolfman Jack jive and nimbly indulging in a series of a wank-free blues duels with "Guitar" Joey Gaydos. Is this what Ted Nugent might sound like if he didn't despise immigrants, wasn't afraid of intoxicants, and copped to the dangers of his cholesterol level? We may never know.

Recommended to anyone who has thought they don't make 'em like they used to. Doubly recommended to anyone who was glad they didn't make 'em like they used to.

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