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Monks of Doom

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Beginning as a side project in 1985 for Camper Van Beethoven members Greg Lisher (guitar), Victor Krummenacher (bass), and Chris Pedersen (drums), Monks of Doom became a full-time band when David Lowery (who later formed Cracker) left Camper Van Beethoven following the 1989 album Key Lime Pie. The addition of Ophelias guitarist David Immergluck rounded out the lineup that would go into the studio and record the Monks' first album, the film soundtrack Breakfast on the Beach of Deception (1998, Pitch-a-Tent). While lacking the catchiness that had made Camper Van Beethoven a regular presence on the pop charts, Monks of Doom continued to put out clever, irreverent, and adventurous music which echoed the spirit of early-'70s pop experimentalists Frank Zappa and Syd Barrett. 1991's Meridian on Baited Breath and 1992's Forgery on IRS also show off the Monks' kitchen sink mixture of styles, incorporating world music bits and jazzy guitar riffs. 1992's 10" picture disc from C/Z Records, The Insect God, continues the spirit of the earlier albums by featuring a mini rock opera adaptation of Edward Gorey's The Insect God as well as a bonus track on the CD version: a cover of Zappa's "Who Are the Brain Police?" Their 1993 recording for IRS, Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, would be the last that the Monks would put out as a group, though several of the members continue to work together in other configurations.

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1986 in Santa Cruz, CA

Years Active:

'80s, '90s