Savage & Sultry: Moneynine’s Self-Titled Debut EP

Cast your mind back to that time, that one day when all was sultry and relaxing. The balmy ocean breeze licking at bare skin, the swoon of sirens caressing the sea. Nothing could be more perfect. You fall asleep.

Two hours later, some smartass kid slaps you on the belly and you jolt upright. You’re sunburnt. Bad. Everything hurts, there’s sand in every bodily nook and cranny and when you stand, your head spins from excessive sunstroke. That symbolism, right there, is as catastrophic as it is pertinent. It’s life. The yin and the yang. Without agitation there can be no relaxation. Without pain there can be no health. Without hate, there is no love. This is what one goes through listening to Amanda Sheppard’s bedroom project Moneynine and her new self-titled EP. The full physical and emotional gamut packed into twelve and a half minutes.

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Don’t be fooled; the swampy blues riff intro of EP opener ‘Came to Fall’ is totally misleading. The refrain sits on a single note and emits a glorious low drone that could very well have been recorded beneath the surface of a murky swamp. But…

Like the swish of a murderous dagger to the heart, Moneynine’s voice cuts deep. Regardless of a particular song’s subject matter, the listener knows full well that their heart and soul are precariously poised, stuck on a tightrope in between split seconds of desire and dysfunction.

And then track 2 kicks in and all hell breaks loose…

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The pure rawness and utter fragility of Moneynine’s tracks tingle the spine and tightens the chest. Like the brutal honesty of the dysfunctional relationships within her lyrics, these songs could fall apart any minute. But they never do. And that capacity to maintain such a fragility for three to four minutes at a time is as rare and as delicate as an undiscovered marigold. But as I said, do not be fooled. Just as a female praying mantis devours her male partner after mating, Moneynine can switchblade into attack mode at the drop of a hat. And that’s what makes this EP so damn addictive!

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For me, the final track ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ is a highlight among highlights. Dripping with primal riffs and a garage drumbeat that keeps time perfectly with a broken heart, the song can be as open-ended and confusing to the listener as much as it is to the lyric’s counterpart and even the song’s protagonist. To put it bluntly, it kidnaps you. The breathy refrain of “No I don’t want you to stop, until I want you to stop” oozes rock ‘n’ roll sexuality and gets under your skin in a way that seems subtle, but is actually bludgeoning. Make no mistake though, Moneynine ain’t just a one-trick pony. This woman has the chops and the grit to be able to pull off the most guttural, steamy guitar solos laced with sixties acid-psych and surfaced in quicksand. As far as feel goes, these bursts of expression are up there with the best of them.

This is D.I.Y. magic of the highest order. Recorded at home with her Epiphone Dot filtered through the swampy sleaze of her Peavey Classic 30, this EP shows that without passion, without feel and an ability to draw on raw emotion and put it into music, no amount of fancy recording gear and big budget production is gonna save you.

I’ll strip it down for you: if you like the blues, if you like lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll and a killer voice, if you are indeed a human in touch with your primal urges, then you’re gonna love Moneynine.

Sultry. Just so damn sultry.

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Benny Two-Shoes

Filling the void between grouchy dinosaurism and current day hipster snobbery, Benny Two-Shoes is the type of guy who kidnaps control of the stereo at sweet sixteen parties and does not relinquish until every last teenybopper leaves a fully-fledged Stooges fan.   

You can listen to the latest episodes, hosted by Benny Two-Shoes, on Roadkill Radio!

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