A New Brand of Shock Rock

Shock rocker Monroe Charles began his career in the late 1980s with songs about all things evil: guns, drugs, and satanism. However, a few years ago he realised he was starting to lose ground as his audiences were no longer shocked by the same old themes. Since then he has completely revamped his songwriting to give it a fresh and even more shocking tone. So far it seems to be a great success.

Before finishing his latest album, and before it had received any airplay on the radio or been leaked on the internet, he ended a concert by singing “Jesus Loves Me” in a quiet, mousey voice to an acoustic mandolin. “The audience went crazy. They were livid. It was the best shock I’ve seen in my career,” says Charles.

Besides the shock value of the old songs wearing off on his “forever” fans, he also found another benefit to this new brand of shock. “See, most of my fans from the 80s and 90s are now grown up with kids of their own,” says Monroe. “So I get their kids who want to rebel against the heavy metal, blood, and guts their parents still listen to. Now they can pump up my new songs like I Want to Be a Boy Again and it drives their parents up the wall.” What a way to tear families apart.

The chorus of I Want to Be a Boy Again goes:

I want to be a boy again
A good little boy again
A pleasant little boy again
I want to be a boy again

Other songs on the album, entitled Clean Hands, include More Than Myself (I Love You!), Dreams about Fruit Trees, and Christmas Is My Favourite Time of Year.

During the recording of the album, he met a good deal of resistance from record company leadership. The president of the company said it was too shocking, that the stores would ban it, and even threatened to censor sections of the lyrics.

Monroe went on with the record and finally finished the studio sessions this summer, in time for the cd to be released in January. Since this is the last album of his current contract, he is considering recording his next album on his own indie label, with the working name Shiny Little Records.


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