The Almost – Monster Monster EP
Record Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: October 25, 2010
It’s been just under a year since The Almost’s release of their sophomore effort, Monster Monster; however, in that seemingly short time period, vocalist Aaron Gillespie has gone through a myriad of changes. At the top of these changes is his leaving of Underoath to pursue ministry work and his upcoming Christian solo record as well as maintaining his position in The Almost. In the time being, the release of the EP sequel to Monster Monster will surely tide fans over.
Simply put, this EP is short and sweet – nothing less, nothing more. Continuing exactly where MM left off, the aggressive “Birmingham” begins the EP with chanting before Gillespie delivers arguably his best vocal performance. As expected, the track is reflective, as Gillespie’s candid nature prevails throughout his lyricism. After this opening addictive number, “July” is a loud rock song, courtesy of guitarists Jay Vilardi and Dusty Redmon over Joe Musten’s pounding drumming. Again, the musical highlight “July” is as reflective as it gets, with Gillespie explaining “I’m caught up in this / it’s getting uglier by the minute.”
Although Gillepsie had performed “Wrong” a while back acoustically, this version is revamped with full band support. A true love song, “Wrong” will inevitably incite singing along on this soaring highlight, as Gillespie again proves his power as a vocalist. Conversely, the following “Out West” breathes the air of a country song with the opening guitar as a song of genuine buoyancy and optimism.
The final “Me And Alone” was released as a bonus track on the iTunes edition of the original Monster Monster; however, it now makes a fitting appearance as the end of this EP. One of the best songs that The Almost have written, “Me And Alone” features superb vocals backed delightfully by guitars and drumming, proving the musicianship of band yet again. Ending the EP on a perfect note just as “Monster” ended the original, “Me And Alone” is in essence the best elements of The Almost incorporated into one track. In the end, Monster Monster EP simply proves that Aaron Gillespie can do no wrong, as it’s another solid – albeit short – release from The Almost.
Wrong and Out West were on Best Buy's deluxe copy of Monster Monster (except Out West was just called West), so nothing on this album is "new". Basically, this is a collection of the B-sides of Monster Monster.
That being said, I love every single one of these songs. Looking forward to their next album, whenever that may be.