moneen. - The Red Tree
Holly Barnes 20/07/2006
Whether we admit it or not, often our so-called opinions on bands are formed by their associations. In the rapidity of modern life, we're always running out of time, so it's convenient to be able to quickly and easily cross-reference everything, including music. Moneen, or moneen., to give them their official punctuation, tick many of the handy proverbial boxes that allow us to categorise and reduce bands in this way: they come to us from the Vagrant stable, home to Saves The Day and Alexisonfire, among others; they play the Warped tour beloved of American sk8r boyz, and appear to be one of the current darlings of Rock Sound magazine.
So far, so US punk-rock-metal, and to some extent this is what third full-length album The Red Tree gives the listener. The melodies of Jimmy Eat World crop up here, coupled with the frantic guitar and tight rhythms of Alkaline Trio. Imagine Moneen as a hybrid of these two bands (see new download-only single If Tragedy's Appealing, Then Disaster's An Addicton), plus a dash of emo (The Day No One Needed To Know). While they share the emo penchant for extremely long song titles (The Frightening Reality Of The Fact That We Will All Have To Grow Up And Settle Down Someday being one such example), Moneen's sound is just far enough away from today's current crop of emo acts (Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy et al) to carry some credibility in rock circles. This can work against them though, as it is less likely they will garner the same kind of attention and publicity that these are enjoying right now- I doubt Moneen can ride those particular coat-tails to the top of our charts.
This is, however, is a pretty decent album; as a collection it shows the band can shift gears with ease- ballad-type songs such as The Song I Swore To Never Sing seem to come as comfortably as the more upbeat soundtrack-to-my-ollie kind of tracks. The vocals might grate on certain listeners periodically, for their emo whininess, but this doesn't detract too much from what is undoubtedly a solid record. If Moneen are unlikely to be gracing the cover of NME in the next month, they should at least be building up a larger following in the UK upon the release of The Red Tree- the music certainly warrants it.