A new North East punk band which includes some familiar faces is aiming to bring something fresh to the scene.
Monkey Mind was formed in Newcastle in 2018 by Lee Wright, guitarist with Jarrow-based streetpunks Crashed Out.
He takes lead vocals and guitar duties in Monkey Mind, even though his bandmate is none other than Michael Algar – aka Olga from Sunderland punk legends The Toy Dolls.
Olga is rated as one of punk’s finest six-stringers, but in Monkey Mind he plays bass, and contributes backing vocals, leaving Lee to be the frontman.
The line-up is completed by drummer Martin Paynton, who usually wields the sticks for South Shields band The Panic Report.
They released their first single, Local Lass, in September last year, and followed it with a second song, Small Man Syndrome.
They’re both slick, tuneful slices of pop-punk, catchy as hell and full of melody, which remind me of Green Day in the days when they were actually any good.
Frontman Lee revealed that the band are working on a full-length album, and hope to play some live dates when they have enough original songs to make a set.
He said: “We put Monkey Mind together in 2018 with a view to bringing something fresh and new to the scene. Our songs are high-energy punk, with elements of tongue-in-cheek humour.”
“We are in the process of recording new demos at the moment. So far we have sixnew tracks, and are looking to have a full-length released by the end of the year, if all goes to plan.
“We have discussed live performances, and I’d definitely like to take the band on the road once we have enough material to justify touring.
“Fronting a band is certainly different for me, as I’ve always done backing vocals in the past, but I’m enjoying it.
“Obviously playing alongside Olga is a big thing, as his guitar style was a big influence on me growing up, and he’s a unique character and great musician, but he’s made it clear he’s happy enough to take a back seat with this band and play bass.”
If you can’t wait for the Monkey Mind album you can download Local Lass and Small Man Syndrome from their Bandcamp page here.