Monty Are I - Break Through the Silence
Record Label: Island Records
Release Date: September 22nd, 2009
For all of its glory, Break Through the Silence is comparable to a Michael Bay film. Carefully plotted explosions, intense action sequences, and novel one-liners are set on top of a predictable framework to enjoy at will. Along with said attributes it also parallels by lacking any significant meaning within its corpus. Nonetheless, there is something delightfully tacky about Monty Are I that proves alluring. Maybe it's the dual-rectifier sound of nu-metal laced with '80s arena rock vocal hooks or the carefully sequenced rhythms that introduce bombastic guitar riffs in a playful yet serious manner. When all these qualities are wrapped up with intriguing artwork and a production team of Hollywood proportions it almost seems like the overall goal of Monty Are I has come to fruition. Gone are the days of the gritty and evocative conglomerations that spanned decades; in their place come a set of arena-rock anthems and whole new set of ambitions.
Of this set, most prominently displayed are the soaring vocal lines. Steve Aiello’s lyrics wax nostalgia on the hair rock concepts of yesteryear when he exclaims, “I caught you, I knew that you played me like a children’s game,” and, “There’s a storm up in the sky, take my hand and you’ll discover it will pass us by.” Though cheesy at the core, it's hard to avoid embracing the simplicity, especially when backed by heavy riffs played by both Aiello and Ryan Muir. Amps cranked to "11" are the crux of the sound with the strongest examples being “The Stand” and “Hope” which are fed heartily by the rhythmic details of the rest of the band.
Where the onset of Break Through the Silence makes a statement through a set of arena-rock anthems worthy of the praise achieved during the Wall Of People era, the latter half of the album takes a new direction. “Kaleidoscope” is the first of several new sounds added to Monty Are I’s repertoire. The delays and sequences command a flow atop which Aiello masterfully commands the melody. Adding to the mischievous overtones of the song are the horns that long-time fans of the band were expecting to be featured long before the midway point in the album.
As the album continues, the tempo slows and begins to draw out the album, almost ignoring the magnificence of the first few tracks. Yawn-worthy songs “All Of You Tonight”, “On The Wire”, and “Desert” disassemble the tact of the album to the extent that even “Convoy Of Angels” can’t inject the life back into the record, though it is an apposite attempt that with time can be warmed up to. Break Through the Silence waxes and wanes well throughout, but can be easily whittled down to its core tracks, leaving out the filler. With an “Action Rock” aesthetic full of epic choruses and generally predictable cadences it is easy to see Monty Are I writing the theme song for Transformers 3.