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Album Review: The Almost - Monster Monster

I'll start off this review by saying I thought The Almost's 2007 debut 'Southern Weather' surprised me and was a very enjoyable record. For those who don't know The Almost, for the most part, is Aaron Gillespie's (of Christian metalcore band Underoath) side-project. 'Monster Monster' sees the bands full proper release; as 'Southern Weather' was Gillespie more or less on his own.

With all this being said 'Monster Monster' picks up where 'Southern Weather' left off, as the title track kicks things off. A bold, fierce rock sound dominates as the band show their tough side. Although it must be mentioned Gillespie avoids going down the heavy route of his other band. Instead we are given a sound that is more accessible especially on 'Lonely Wheel' with a slight laid back rock approach with hard-hitting drums and strong vocals.

Despite this more fierce rock-oriented sound, The Almost manage to successfully prove they can craft soft, easy-going songs like 'No I Don't' and 'Summer Summer'; with its guitar chords and strings that sweep in and out.

Another skill of this band is there ability to write catchy rock songs like 'Hands', a blend of a group sing-a-long chorus ("Whoa-oh, Oh Oh Oh") and unsurprisingly hand claps dominate and proves to be one of the albums highlights.

'Young Again' and 'Books and Books' continue the bands use of an acceptable alternative rock style. Whereas 'Hand Grenade' once again shows the bands soft, acoustic persona that is generally mediocre.

'Souls On Ten' is also worth mentioning with its radio-friendly tone; light piano and guitar chords delicately compliment Gillespie's voice, as the track becomes one of only a handful of highlights.

I wanted to like this record and in its early stages I thought it was a worthy follow-up to its predecessor. Unfortuntaly, to an extent, it is a record that goes off to an area of easeness. In the sense that 'Monster Monster' is played out quite safely. On the whole it is an acceptable record and quite favourable but despite its subtle hints of variation, it ends up being a record that lacks substance and depth.

Nevertheless Gillespie once again has proved that he is able to go out and succesfully write songs on his own but with very few memorable moments, 'Monster Monster' proves to be disappointing. Although these moments do show the bands strong blend of an acceptable mainstream rock sound with a slight alternative edge, that they do pull off well throughout and could enable them to go on to bigger things but has to be questioned if 'Monster Monster' will let them do just this.


'Monster Monster' by The Almost is released next week on Tooth & Nail/Virgin Records.

Official Website
The Almost on MySpace

Pre-Order 'Monster Monster' on iTunes

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!