Monument – Bros Canoeing! Album Review
I was sad to hear Monument were splitting, but pleased that they left us with this posthumous sophomore album. I reviewed their debut full length Goes Canoeing back in Summer 2011 for Roomthirteen.com and it’s an album I still have on regular rotation, so was eager to hear this new record. Goes Canoeing I described as “raw, emotive and oh so melodic [...] backed by jagged guitars, odd time signatures and complex progressions [...] a distorted, fuzz-laden sing along world of goosebumps and screamed-raw throats and punched fists.” I wont argue with my past self, it was (still is) a great album and this latest offering is, pleasingly, no less emotive, and like its predecessor, promises to be an album I’ll be listening to many times.
The “I’ll find a way” chant at the start of opener 3 Musketeers, backed by fiddly guitars and energetic drums, pulls me back in to their world like I’ve never been away. This is a great way to begin the album: a gloriously uplifting sing along tune with a hint of melancholy, which for me sums up the feel for the rest of the record. The hint of sadness permeates throughout; with little string touches here and there to give you goosebumps and quiet interludes, like the lovely Reggaenomics, it does lack some of the carefree spirit of its predecessor, but this is well balanced by an upbeat core of melody keeping everything grounded.
Bros Canoeing! does have a less frenetic sound than their debut and tones down the raw vocals for slightly softer edges and a more refined feel, but in no way is the record over produced. The band thankfully retains their edge with vocals on the edge of cracking, riffs that are complex but played with assured confidence and odd timings and impressive flourishes from the drums.
It’s hard to know whether finding out the band had split prior to hearing the album has coloured my judgment when listening, but it seems obvious that emotions were running high during the recording process; there’s a kind of ‘fuck it lets go out in style’ attitude which oozes out of every note and makes each tune crackle with energy. This album is a great way to start if you don’t know Monument and is also a must have for fans. Get it.
Buy the album on Bandcamp all proceeds go to Charity.