Album Review: Lioness by Stony Sugarskull – personality, wit and sheer chutzpah out front and centre

Stony Sugarskull is the name of the punk/garage/shoegaze music project of one Dr. Monika Demmler, a woman who obtained a degree in biophilic healing functions of music in African-American literature, in London/New Orleans/Berlin. Espousing the concept of Gaia, philosophical ideas of a return to Gaia, the first goddess or “mother nature,” and away from our […]

Written By Noel Maurice

Stony Sugarskull is the name of the punk/garage/shoegaze music project of one Dr. Monika Demmler, a woman who obtained a degree in biophilic healing functions of music in African-American literature, in London/New Orleans/Berlin.

Espousing the concept of Gaia, philosophical ideas of a return to Gaia, the first goddess or “mother nature,” and away from our currently over-technologised world, Stony Sugarskull gives vent to Demmler’s take on things with a style that combines psychedelia, punk, shoegaze, garage and straight up rock n roll (or maybe not so straight up) with a sociopolitical message.

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After self-releasing two Eps (Trust and Gaia) and a single Butterflies and playing in venues like 8mm, Madame Claude and Loophole in Berlin, Demmler expanded her musical horizons by traveling to Los Angeles and immersing herself in the scene there, where she met her new band Reid Murray (drums), Denee Lee (lapsteel guitar) and Landon Reed (bass), who joined the project for live performances in the US followed up by a five-week-long European tour across the UK, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Serbia, Greece, Spain and Switzerland.

“Lioness, and boy is the name apt, with it coming growling and snarling out of its cage with a take-no-prisoners attitude and ready to let rip”

Her brand new album (out today! Woohoo!) is Lioness, and boy is the name apt, with it coming growling and snarling out of its cage with a take-no-prisoners attitude and ready to let rip. Monika’s grown into her Stony Sugarskull role, and it’s nice to see that she’s been recognised and taken up by the Visions imprint in London.

“the slowed-down, weirdly disturbed soundscape of Beehive is something special too”

This is a full album of garage future-classics, with Demmler’s personality, wit and sheer chutzpah front and centre. Highlights are the already-released singles House is on Fire and Empty although the slowed-down, weirdly disturbed soundscape of Beehive is something special too.

Veering off Cowboy Junkies, Libertines, the Velvets and with a general sixties psyched out garage rock vibe, Stony Sugarskull has established her spot in the rock firmament with her Lioness album.
What will she do next? Can’t wait to see!

“This is a full album of garage future-classics, with Demmler’s personality, wit and sheer chutzpah front and centre.”

“Berlin-based music act Stony Sugarskull, the sonic project led by the beguiling Dr. Monika Demmler, has unleashed its inner lioness with the grainy punk-infused video for “House on Fire”, a track oozing with the kind of swagger you would find if Marianne Faithful were to push Iggy off stage and front the Stooges herself.” (Post-Punk)
“Stony Sugarskull makes you feel like you’ve discovered My Bloody Valentine for the first time. Their sound is out there, completely and beautifully unusual – and just a sheer revelation. [M] makes you feel like that this is what’s been missing from you for years” (Beat in my Bones)

Stony Sugarskull Website | Stony Sugarskull Bandcamp | Stony Sugarskull Instagram