The great crate-digging label Light In The Attic is keeping up an impressive record of reverentially rejuvenating and reissuing somewhat lost or forgotten canonical classics. They recently dusted off Serge Gainsbourg's Lolita-level masterstroke, Histoire De Melody Nelson, to wide acclaim.
Now they're looking to cast their lofted light on proto-punk pioneers and monastic mavericks The Monks, a band of American GI's formed in the mid-60s while stationed in Germany. As Iggy Pop noted, The Monks "may be the only legitimate anti-war rock group to come out of the 60s."
It would take too much room to really do their story justice, but you can catch up on the history here. The two reissues from LITA—a collection of early demos and the remastered classic Black Monk Time—both come with wonderfully thorough liner notes from Kevin Howes. Suffice it to say, lots of folks in the know (The Monks have garnered a devoted cult following since their origins) have argued that these guys laid the groundwork for everything from punk to psych to Krautrock.
Hear and see for yourself...
"Love Came Tumblin' Down" from The Early Years 1964-1965: