Monument

Goes Canoeing

Written by: DR on 01/04/2011 19:04:28

Five years. It has been five whole years between Monument's inception and first demo recordings and this, their debut LP; with only "The Florida EP" in 2007 and a 3 song 7" inch in 2009 to suffice for fans in between. However, by waiting to release their debut they couldn't have picked a more opportune time than now, however deliberate or ironic such an outcome may be. Because over the past year or two the emo genre seems to have gained steady momentum in its quest to take it away from three-word band names and fasionable haircuts, and back into the rightful arms of what it was in the 90s.

Rooted in obvious Cap'n Jazz and Braid influences, the emo tag is applicable here. And whether you like emo, indie, punk, math rock, post-hardcore, or even indie pop, you'll find something familiar to appreciate in what Monument have created. Yet, at the same time it is their strange accumulation of such styles, that on paper shouldn't work together, which actually helps set them apart from many bands around.

Not to mention the fact this quartet play with a shit-load of enthusiasm. Best exemplified in the dual-vocals of Dan Dogget and Gabe Marquez, despite neither having anything close to the best voice around, their technical shortcomings are rendered irrelevant by the energy generated by one voice bouncing off the other. The passion each throws into every word results in some rather infectious one-liners (this band don't really stick to the conventional verse/chorus structure, so the hooks are more single lines as opposed to choruses), such as the closing stages of "No Sleep, All Play" as they shout "WE'LL SLEEP WHEN WE'RE DEAD!!!". At the other end of the scale is the soft opening vocals of "Breakfast", consisting of a simple "I don't eat breakfast everyday, but I should".

The vocals will take a lot of the praise this album receives, but the off-kilter musicianship provides a unique, ever-changing and always interesting platform for them. For instance, it is not just the aforementioned sing-along that makes "No Sleep, All Play" a special song, but how the song begins as though it'll shape up to be an atmospheric slow-burner, but morphs into a noisy sing-along. Through their jangly guitar-work and disregard for simple time-signatures, the listener will be struck with the feeling of Monument being akin to a more playful Bear vs Shark.

"Goes Canoeing" is instantly infectious and therefore attention-grabbing, but intricate and complex enough to establish itself as one of those albums that gets better over long-term listening. There are only ten songs - and one of those is an instrumental introduction - clocking in at a modest twenty-nine minutes, but the short run-time is a good thing as it means you'll just be practically raping the repeat button to no end. This is the sound of four friends having the time of their lives, so let them share it with you.

Download: No Sleep, All Play; This is 113; Breakfast
For The Fans of: Bear vs Shark; Braid; Cap'n Jazz; You Blew It!
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 22.03.2011
Tiny Engines

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