David Thomas & Two Pale Boys 18 Monkeys on a Dead Man's Chest

Never one to adhere to current trends or marketing ideals, former Pere Ubu and Rocket From the Tombs front-man David Thomas has passed up the chance to join Buzzcocks and the Stranglers on the post-punk revival bandwagon but has nevertheless made a great record that proves the nervous man with the sputtering delivery hasn’t lost his touch or his inspiration. Backed by Two Pale Boys for their third studio album together, 18 Monkeys is a strong collection of highly original songs that shift and careen down different paths at the mere hint of a whim. Much of the album tends to explore harrowing and personal tones (like the slightly sarcastic "Little Sister” and the haunted "Brunswick Parking Lot”), but if these boys wanted to rock, they could rock hard. Just check out "Numbers Man,” a driving post-punk number that recalls prime Ubu and manages to pound out a mighty rhythm without the use of drums, if you need some proof this Dead Man’s Chest is breathing uncontaminated air. (Smog Veil)