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Spear has been trading since 2005, so it’s tempting to cast it as a plucky young contender. But is the Evil Monkey just aping the old classics?
The Evil Monkey is a compelling fusion of vintage and modern, with the mahogany body and quilted maple top tipping a hat to tradition, but the graphic and standalone Seymour Duncan JB humbucker making us want to thrash it in a punk garage band.
The absence of a neck item has shaved pounds off the price (Spear reckons most rock players sit on the bridge anyway), but we were concerned it might cost us sonic versatility.
Bulletproof and finished with attention to detail, it doesn’t feel like a £379 electric. That said, if you play a lot of rhythm and want to flesh out your band’s sound, the lack of neck ’bucker means you’ll need an amp with good bass response to counteract it. So it’s a good thing the Seymour Duncan JB at the bridge is a cracker, turning in a ferocious bite that combines with the endless sustain for an amazing lead tone.
If you want a traditional singlecut feel, you’ll love the Monkey’s monstrous weight, satisfying neck and slab-like dimensions. It’s not an obvious choice for noodling, but if you’re a player in the Slash tradition and want to peel off tasty bends and chunky mid-tempo solos, give it a spin.
Pros: Value, classic feel, biting tone.
Cons: The lack of a neck ’bucker.