The Monkeywrench — who played a hybrid of blues, punk, and classic garage rock — came together in 1991 after Mark Arm and Steve Turner of the classic Seattle band Mudhoney met Tim Kerr, the former guitarist with punk bands the Big Boys and Poison 13. After Turner and Arm explained what big fans they were of his days with Poison 13, Kerr suggested that they get together to record. Kerrwould handle guitar duties; Arm would play piano, harmonica and sing; and Turner would pick up the bass. The lineup was completed with the addition of second guitarist Tom Price, formerly of Seattle band the U-Men, as well as Australian drummer Martin Bland, known for his work with groups like Lubricated Goat, the Primevils, and Bloodloss. The latter of these bands also included Arm on vocals and guitar.
When Sub Pop Records was informed of the new supergroup in 1991, the label signed the band immediately. Later in the year, the Monkeywrench spent time at Egg Studios in Seattle with producer Conrad Uno recording their first LP, Clean as a Broke-Dick Dog. The album was released in 1992, along with a 7″ that included two tracks from the LP — “Bottle Up & Go” and “Cold Cold World” — as well as a song titled “Out of Focus.” The group took some time off in the mid-’90s, due to the fact that Arm and Turner were still involved with Mudhoney and Kerr was busy with his band the Lord High Fixers. However, they still managed to release a split 7″ of the Germs song “Shut Down” on Gasatanka Records in late 1995. The song also appeared on that year’s tribute album to the Germs, titled A Small Circle of Friends, on Grass Records.
Kerr had also been getting more involved with Dave Criderat Estrus Records in the latter part of the ’90s, helping to produce many of the label’s bands, as well as joining their roster in groups like Jack O’Fire and the aforementioned Lord High Fixers. In turn, this led to the Monkeywrench signing to Estrus in 1999. The band entered Private Radio Studios in November of 1999 along with producer Jack Endino to record its second full-length LP, Electric Children. The CD was released on April 4, 2000. Another eight years passed before the group got back together to record more material. The resulting album, Gabriel’s Horn, was issued by Sub Pop in March of 2008 (And Bang! some years after).