The World I Want To Leave Behind

Written by: PP on 04/10/2009 14:42:19

Even though Canadian emo rockers Moneen have reached studio album number four with "The World I Want To Leave Behind", they continue to be criminally underrated and unknown both in the US and on this side of the pond. Every release they've put out has been an extremely solid, if not amazing display of just how good emotionally charged alternative rock can sound like when it's drenched in passion and dedication to music. It all started with seminal heartfelt emo tracks like "What Did You Say?...I'm Sorry My Eyes Are On Fire", continued on the almost pop punkish "Are You Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now", finally culminating in the highly experimental and artistically complete "The Red Tree" that was misunderstood by many, but for those that did 'get it', the record hit hard and became one to breach many album of the year lists.

On "The World I Want To Leave Behind", it seems like the band are both taking steps back and forward. After the strangely low production of the title track, "Great Escape", "Hold That Sound", and "Believe" start the album as quintessential Moneen songs, full of exemplary usage of the quiet/loud dynamic where vocalist Kenny Bridges' lines are calm at first but quickly explode into passionate singing during the choruses. They are powerful, catchy tracks which beautifully display the amazing amount of talent singer Kenny Bridges possesses. But they also feel like steps backward in the band's evolution, as they reference the familiar "Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now" type of sound, especially on the first two tracks mentioned, where the experimentation has been thrown aside in favour of a more straightforward rock sound. But since that's a great album as well, I doubt anyone's complaining, plus Moneen could've ran the risk of writing an overambitious record like Thrice's "The Alchemy Index", which, while good, didn't quite measure up to the records before and after.

In terms of taking steps forward, however, the first thing you'll notice is that the song titles aren't so long anymore that they could qualify for a novel, which fits together well with the band's much more mature rock sound overall. "Redefine" is the first song where you'll hear a grown up Moneen, as it starts a quieter - almost balladic - section to the album, strongly followed up by "The Way", which is essentially a ballad but for once I'm not hating the track because it's one of the best songs on the album. Usually when melodic emo/punk bands write ballads it goes horribly wrong, but it's just an example of why Moneen are a few steps ahead of the rest. Straight after Moneen enters on new territory with "The Long Count" and especially "The Monument", both of which feature heavy distortion and a distinct "Vheissu"-era Thrice feel. The prior even has some Dustin Kensrue type of constrained screaming in it. And while these are surprisingly heavy tracks for the band that's known for their subtle experimentation, "The Glass House" blows the roof off with it's heavy post-hardcore guitar leads and clean/scream dynamic.

While wrapping up the whole album you'll immediately notice that Moneen are at their most versatile on this record. There's some daring attempts of changing the band's core sound towards the end, while the beginning and the middle take care of Moneen fans most keen on the first two albums and "The Red Tree" respectively. And all of this is done without sacrificing coherency on the record. Still, one can't help but wonder what "The World I Want To Leave Behind" could've sounded like had the band continued on the experimentation path set by "The Red Tree". Because in comparison, this record feels slightly uninspiring, even if it's still a solid album and proof why Moneen are one of the best bands in the genre.

Download: Great Escape, Believe, Hold That Sound, The Monument
For the fans of: Thrice, Boys Night Out, Park, The Get Up Kids
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.09.2009
Dine Alone Records

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