The Red Tree

Written by: PP on 27/04/2006 20:08:32

Moneen is the best export from Canada together with Alexisonfire. The band, who loves having dozen-word long song titles, is ridiculously big in North America, and not without a reason. For years now, they have been writing heartscrapingly touching songs with beautiful melodies. They aren't just your regular 'my girlfriend left me' emo band like Hawthorne Heights. They write songs with meaning and immense depth, which means you must pay attention or you'll end up touching only the top of the iceberg. Classics like "What Did You Say... I'm Sorry, My Eyes Are On Fire" or "Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?" have caused joy and tears into many emo-fans' hearts over the years, and "The Red Tree", their third full length record, looks strongly like it will keep their eyes wet for another couple of years.

At first, "The Red Tree" may sound difficult to grasp, as it is a slight departure from the material we heard on "Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?". However, after several consecutive active-listening periods the initial worries are cleared - the band is back and they're back with a blast. "Don't Ever Tell Locke What He Can't Do" opens the album in the truest Moneen style with Kenny's intesified high tone vocals that strech as far as semi-screaming towards the end of the song. "If Tragedy's Appealing, Then Disaster's An Addiction", the first single from the album, is probably the catchiest and most melodic track on the album, and is among the many highlights spread across the album. "Bleed And Blister (Version Three)" seems to get a brighter sound each time it's re-recorded (previous version on the Switcheroo split EP with Alexisonfire), and demonstrates Moneen at their best: reasonably fast-paced complex guitar leads, meaningful lyrics and stupendously melodic singing on top. However, where the band truly tops itself is on the six-minute "The Day No One Needed To Know", the longest track on the album. It showcases how the band is able to use subtle melodies and use progression in a non-superficial way, and the amazing lyrical talent of the band. It never seizes to amaze me how Kenny is able to convey simple messages in such a beautiful way. One could even argue that this is the best song Moneen has written to date, as during each listen its incredibly bright melodies and the desperate and silent background screams grow on you like there's no end to it.

The musicianship the band demonstrates on "The Red Tree" is absolutely breathtaking. The song structures are meaningful and are thought out to fit in with the lyrics, and Kenny's vocal range has increased from the old, rather teen oriented one into a much more mature, epic and powerful one. It's his voice that carries the already stunning melody forward and makes it sound better and better at each listen. It is obvious that Moneen has matured since their older records, yet it still sounds very distinctly like Moneen - the sound so familiar you could swear you've heard it somewhere before but can't quite place it right while being the most unique sonance you'll ever hear in the genre. Like all of their prior releases, "The Red Tree" pushes all of the right buttons of its genre and beyond, resulting in it being, once again, one of the best emo releases to date.


Download: The Day No One Needed To Know, The Frightening Reality Of The Fact...
For the fans of: Thursday, Boys Night Out, Taking Back Sunday
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.04.2006
Vagrant Records

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