Monty Are I - Break Through the Silence
Record Label: Island
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Pretty much everything surrounding Break Through the Silence, the sophomore release from Rhode Island's Monty Are I, is a little confounding. Following in the footsteps of Rx Bandits, the band formerly known as Monty's Fan Club evolved from their ska-punk foundations into a progressive-leaning post-hardcore unit with their 2006 release Wall of People, issued on the now-defunct Stolen Transmission imprint. Wall showed promise, but despite its attempts at inventive arrangements, it was essentially a formulaic rock record at its core and achieved only modest success, which is why the band's promotion to major label Island came as a bit of a surprise.
Then comes the actual sound of the album itself. Monty Are I could have refined the sound of Wall of People and turned out something truly interesting, but instead, seem to have fallen into the pitfall of watering down their music and, in the process, eliminating any creative or redeeming aspects, ultimately resulting in a muddled mess. Traces of their trademark brassy orchestration are present here, but most of the time, particularly the ending of "Kaleidoscope," they seem to be inserted merely as an afterthought, and thus don't really add much to the songs. Further, most of these tracks are straight-ahead, polished atmospheric rock and are virtually indistinguishable from the output of similar bands like Secret and Whisper.
The most striking quality of Break Through the Silence is vocalist Steve Aiello's powerful vocals, which bear strong similarities to Saosin's Cove Reber, especially at the upper reaches of his register, when the voice strains just a bit. His mostly high-pitched delivery fits the musical style well, but the combination has become so commonplace that it's hard to get excited about it anymore, and when it's overly autotuned and robotic effects are applied, as on the opening title track, the results aren't very pretty and border on grating. After twelve tunes that are very similar in terms of melody, a little depth in this department would have been welcome, as well.
Wall of People producer Matt Squire returned to produce Break Through the Silence, accompanied by Linkin Park producer Don Gilmore. The focus this time out seemed to be producing a simpler, heavier sound, placing the driving guitar riffs front-and-center in the mix, the product of which is sometimes disheartening, like the exercise in power chords that is "Hope." Monty have proven themselves to be talented musicians, but seem to have dumbed themselves down here, resulting in a record that's almost uniformly boring (a pass goes to "Sand Riders Doomsday," whose slicing strings and furious guitar work make it the highlight). After Wall of People, it wouldn't have been unreasonable to hope for an imaginative and exciting follow-up, but unfortunately, it ended up being mostly bland and lifeless. Maybe next time.
I'd personally give their Wall of People release a bit more credit, given the energy and lasting appeal of many of the tracks. That said, the album as a whole wasn't very consistent, and made it fall short of an outstanding release; so in that respect I agree with you. All in all good review, I'll check this out and keep your words in mind.
The first part of this album has songs that seem to stand out, then it kind of faded and the songs got weird as it progressed, i thought upon first listen.
And they have no relation in sound to Secret and Whisper. That's kind of out of the ballpark.The sounds here are a lot of loud soft dynamics fitted for radio. I would say they are like There for Tomorrow, but not as good or emotional.
either you are the shittiest reviewer to walk the land OR monty has done something to piss you off?
Both, obviously. I'm, of course, the shittiest reviewer in the world. Everyone knows that. Also, my slutty ex-girlfriend fucked one of the band members. I was pissed, so this is my way of getting even.
Seriously, though, this album isn't awful, but this band seems capable of much better, but appear to be satisfied going by the numbers.