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Album Review
 
The Almost - Monster Monster Album Cover

The Almost - Monster Monster

Reviewed by
8.0
The AlmostMonster Monster
Release Date: November 3, 2009
Record Label: Virgin/Tooth & Nail
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
After being the sole operator of his side project debut Southern Weather, Aaron Gillespie expanded his solo effort into a full band deal, which may explain the increase of variety in The Almost’s second album, Monster Monster.

Monster Monster retains the aggressiveness that Southern Weather possessed while diversifying the tempos and compositions as well. Produced by Aaron Sprinkle, Gillespie’s voice has never sounded stronger. Musically, Monster Monster twists and turns, sometimes severely. In fact, Monster Monster channels Foo Fighters a lot more than it does its scene contemporaries.

The title track kicks off the album with driving, dirty guitar chords and a quick tempo, courtesy of Gillespie, who always manned the drums. Immediately you can hear Gillespie owning the album with his voice. While the nasally delivery may put off some, there is no denying the energy and passion behind it. “Lonely Wheel” has radio potential with its catchy chorus, while “No I Don’t” slows the album down a bit, as it captures some Relient K in its melody. Once again Gillespie’s vocals shine, especially on the chorus.

First single, “Hands,” is incredibly delightful. Hand claps, scant yet piercing piano keys, and gang vocals are the key ingredients in this vibrant rocker. “Young Again” may be the most aggressive song that The Almost has written. The guitar work from Jay Vilardi and Dusty Redmon provide the backbone for this track, while Gillespie gives his most assertive vocals yet.

The classic rock feel of “Summer Summer” and the folksy “Hand Grenade” give Monster Monster some of that diversity the debut was lacking. Some of the later tracks don’t stack up to the first half of the album, but “Get Through” breathes some life back into the album with its quirky, distorted riffs. The vulnerable “Monster” is a beautiful closer. Paced by a simple acoustic chord, it is only fitting that Gillespie’s voice would highlight the final track. Monster Monster proves that Gillespie is not just a capable front man, but quickly turning into one of the best.

Monster Monster is definitely a more complete and finished product than its predecessor, Southern Weather, was. Working with a complete band this time helped in creating the variety heard throughout the album, as each member was able to contribute different ideas to the record. Lyrically, Gillespie’s words are filled with just as much urgency as his vocals, giving the album that emotional punch all pop-rock records need to remain in regular rotation. Granted the album has its flaws, as it alters a bit during the second half. But Monster Monster definitely lives up to its name, as The Almost has created a beast of a pop-rock record.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Monster Monster
2. Lonely Wheel
3. No I Don’t
4. Hands
5. Young Again
6. Summer Summer
7. Hand Grenade
8. Books and Books
9. Souls On Ten
10. Want To
11. Get Through
12. Monster
Produced by: Aaron Sprinkle

The Almost is:
Aaron Gillespie – vocals/drums
Jay Vilardi – guitars
Dusty Redmon – guitars
Alex Aponte – bass

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 77
03:35 AM on 11/03/09
#2
killerclownbros
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solid review, Gillespie has allround talent
definitely will be checking this one out
04:55 AM on 11/03/09
#3
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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no RIYL?
05:09 AM on 11/03/09
#4
BozzBlonde
twitter.com/adeadgod
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I like your reviews because they break down each song. Good review Drew.
05:14 AM on 11/03/09
#5
BozzBlonde
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In the review it says the album has some parts similar to Foo Fighters and Relient K.
06:06 AM on 11/03/09
#6
alilbravetoaste
http://www.thefairweathered.com/
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I feel like I would like these guys more if I saw them live. Not feeling this album really.
06:17 AM on 11/03/09
#7
JordanBuell
and sail belly up to the clouds
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its not a bad album. just having trouble pulling myself away from say anything long enough to give it w listen
06:37 AM on 11/03/09
#8
Sing-The-Sorrow
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one of those albums you can listen to from beginning to end.... Summer Summer is my fave track.
06:39 AM on 11/03/09
#9
trappedintime
Yea, you were right about me
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Not feeling this album at all. I'm sorry but good production is no excuse for weak songs... And I'm a huge The Almost fan. It just didn't grab me the way SW did. Maybe it'll grow on me... We'll see.
06:48 AM on 11/03/09
honestykills
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this one took more listens for me to really get into. i fell in love with Southern Weather instantly, but i'm liking this one more and more with each spin.
07:23 AM on 11/03/09
chillinlikebob
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Looking forward to hearing this. I didn't like Southern Weather all that much, but Gillespie is obviously talented.
07:25 AM on 11/03/09
blessthefall89
Spirit Filled & Kingdom Minded
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nice drew
07:41 AM on 11/03/09
_><_
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Decent, but worse than Souther Weather.
07:43 AM on 11/03/09
FUCKDIRTYWIPES
Kicking it middle school
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good review, boring cd.
07:46 AM on 11/03/09
awakeohsleeper
We never met, you and I
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Is this album lyrically better than the previous release? I found that album got boring quickly. Not sure if I'll check this out. It sounds better than Southern Weather though so I am slightly tempted. Just can't afford anything at the moment really.

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