Friday, March 11, 2016

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Monkey's Uncle

For our second post of this Friday, here's this month's Defunct Local Band Profile, and apologies for the day's delay, things have been busy lately on the site! As usual, this monthly feature looks at 1-2 local metal, hard rock, or punk bands that are defunct or inactive, in order to spotlight them for current readers, and like our past installments of this series, today's band was randomly selected. We have a familiar unit from the Sault Michigan area today that have a successor band currently playing frequently in the area, so read on below for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile!
Monkey's Uncle

Genre: Classic/Hard Rock

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Members: (Members not in their last full lineup in italics. This information is incomplete, especially regarding their late 2000s lineups, and may also be incorrect regarding their final lineup. Let me know if you can fill in any blanks!)

Henry Switzer (Highway 63, Sir Charge, The Mama's Boys), vocals/guitar
Nathan Switzer (Highway 63, Analog Deficiency, RamWagon), bass
Ron Suchey (Highway 63, Hair Trigger, RamWagon), drums

Donny Newell (Absolute, NoXcape, Full Throttle), vocals/guitar
Jim Belleau (The Brooks Band, Bittermoon), bass
Audio/Video: Though primarily known in live concerts from their covers-only sets, Monkey's Uncle recorded 4 original songs like "Cold Hell", "Straight Jacket", and "Somewhere In Time" that you can stream on their MySpace page, all from the Jager days in the mid-late 2000s. A cover of Ronan Keating's "This I Promise" and a song from Henry Switzer's old classic rock band The Mama's Boys are also posted there. Though photos don't survive of the band there, four Jager-era concert videos (with an early quartet lineup, and mostly at The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace) can be streamed on MySpace as well, including covers of Nickelback's "Figure You Out", Jet's "Cold Hard Bitch", Finger Eleven's "Paralyzer", and as embedded below, Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog", so check everything out!

Info/Analysis: Formerly known as Jager 4.0 and simply Jager, Monkey's Uncle were a veteran hard & classic rock band who were frequent sights at Eastern U.P. concerts, often under the Kewadin Casino umbrella, from at least 2006 until 2012, though specific surviving information on their run is in short supply today, with the band never having an active Facebook page. They underwent a number of lineup changes during their run, with their trio incarnation of Henry Switzer, Jim Belleau, and Ron Suchey arguably the best documented. Later enlisting Henry's son Nathan on bass for the band's last years,  Monkey's Uncle quietly disbanded by late 2012, when the Switzers succeeded them with the short-lived Sir Charge until mid-2013, then joining forces with Ron again in 2014 in the currently active Highway 63. Jager/Monkey's Uncle were a solid band that put an everyman grit and talented performances to some classic hits, and their original songs hold up as well, particularly "Cold Hell" & "Straight Jacket", but be sure to follow Highway 63 for similar work!
 I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! Next month in this series, our random selection has taken us to The Valentine's Day Massacre, the early 2010s deathcore quartet featuring Sativa Rose & State of Misery alumni, so look for that on or around April 10th, and stay tuned for more news and notes tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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