The Almost
Monster, Monster


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
November 3rd, 2009 | 234 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie consolidates, yet compromises, his rock-oriented side-project.

It is difficult not to anticipate The Almost's 2nd full-length release with a strong sense of deja vu. Where does this sound familiar? The drummer of a critically acclaimed & commercially successful band becomes the lead vocalist of another outfit. While taking the name of a group, this man practically plays every instrument on the project's more rock-oriented debut... And while the results are mixed, the potential is clearly apparent. Unfortunately for Underoath's Aaron Gillespie, The Almost's follow-up LP 'Monster, Monster' is no 'The Colour & The Shape'... And he has a little way to go to match up to the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl.

Similarly to debut long-player 'Southern Weather', 'Monster, Monster' begins with a cavalcade of hooks. Certain to be a live favorite, 'Hands' especially stands out. With its winning piano line, jangly guitars and super infectious sing-along chorus, it is reminiscent of Jacks Mannequin's more up-tempo cuts. With the possible exception of the opening title track and ultra-melodic 'Souls On Ten' however, nothing else could be classified as distinctly memorable in this department.

Perhaps realizing this lack of distinction, Gillespie searches elsewhere for a secret ingredient. Many tracks re-explore the southern rock/alt-country vibe occasionally given off on 'Southern Weather'. Again however, only one such song stands out, with emotional six minute closer 'Monster' opening acoustically, before satisfyingly breaking out into a steel guitar led instrumental jam. The album's surprise element comes in the form of extending this sound into a slice of nostalgic Americana to lend it a stronger sense of storytelling. It helps to keep Gillespie lyrically focused, but he also has a little way to go to match up to The Gaslight Anthem.

While Gillespie does double duty on drums here, he is joined by Dusty Redmon & Jay Vilardi on guitars, as well as Alex Aponte on bass. However, any sense that this album has a fuller sound when compared to the one-man debut is minimal. One cannot help but feel that in consolidating The Almost as a group effort, Gillespie has compromised to some degree. There is a sense of safety which permeates through much of the LP and, while no track is entirely poor, a listeners attention is likely to fade during the filler moments. Thankfully, the highlights are strong and there is a level of consistency which still makes 'Monster, Monster' a solid release that suggests a potentially promising future.

Recommended Tracks: Hands, Monster & Souls On Ten.



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user ratings (234)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
David James Young (2)
I'm sick of this monster monster....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Similarly to Moneen a couple of months ago, this is another occasion when a teaser EP has built up anticipation by including 2 of the subsequent album's best tracks on it. That only results in a certain degree of disappointment for what is otherwise a solid release.

Waior
November 3rd 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The only I song I legitimately enjoy on this record is the closing track which is pretty cool, all things considered.

'Monster, Monster' is no 'The Colour & The Shape'... And he has a little way to go


Why do you capitalize "and" here, just out of curiosity? Review is good and summarizes the album for it's faults nicely.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Caleb, I could swear you had this rated as a 3 about 10 minutes ago!

To be honest, I'm unsure what is gramtically correct with capitalizations after a ... But my grammar checks clearly prefer the 'And' to be capitalized.

AtavanHalen
November 3rd 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

More to the point, why the fuck are you making a Foo Fighters comparison

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

DavID, did you not read the FACTUAL similarities in the opening paragraph.

Not only that, but you know that sort of folky americana feel that 'E, S, P & Grace' included on many songs? Well it's here too.

Waior
November 3rd 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I had it as a 3 but it was really too generous.

AtavanHalen
November 3rd 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hey CK, remember that episode of South Park where Cartman learns to shit out of his mouth? Did you watch that episode over and over and eventually put it into practice with the first paragrah of this review?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm a generous person. Haha.

Far be it from me to tell you when to rate albums Caleb, but you may want to think twice about rating albums so quickly in the future. Oh well, at least we now both agree that 'Southern Weather' is slightly better than this.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hey Atavanhalen, give me DavID back.

I seriously don't understand your issue with the paragraph. I know you have a thing for Aaron. Hell, I like him too. But he's no Davey Grolton just yet.

AtavanHalen
November 3rd 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The comparison was stupid. You may as well have made a comparison to fucking Ringo Starr.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


15737 Comments


jesus atavanhalen

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


15035 Comments


atavanhalen you seriously need to calm the fuck down sometimes

edit: ec got me

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If by stupid, you mean factual... Gee.

As for the sound of the 2 bands, give the album a listen... & then disagree with me.

You like this roberstona? Just noticed your dig...

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


15035 Comments


what the hell, i did not dig this


dont even know how to dig things

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


15737 Comments


you accidentally clicked the dig it button

another mystery solved

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


15035 Comments


i dont even know where that is




wait now i do


SICK

AtavanHalen
November 3rd 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

jesus atavanhalen


One and the same.

I just thought the comparison was irrelevant; you ladies are getting far more worked up than I

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


15035 Comments


actually not at all but haha ok man *pats on shoulder* youre doing a great job

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 3rd 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Now you can dig away at whatever you want man.

Fair opinion on the comparison being irrelevant I guess DavID, but it worked on a number of fronts; (a) my anticipation for this album. I liked 'Southern Weather' a fair bit & the Monster EP was very good. (b) It's factual. (c) I believe the sound of this album does have similarities to E,S,P&G.

Now shhh Jesusvanhalen.

AtavanHalen
November 3rd 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

(a) Has nothing to do with what we're talking about
(b) A couple of coincidences; comparing Underoath to Nirvana was pretty errr
(b) Can't comment but I doubt it



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