Review Summary: The album may not be for everyone but it's a solid release none the less that will no doubt, take some time to grow on you.
Moneen is a band from Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Not fitting to any particular genre, they seem to have a mix of what appears to be emo and math rock. At the time of "The Red Tree's" release there was an eruption in other bands claiming to be doing something different and having song titles, longer than the songs themselves. Moneen is definetly a part of this group but with one difference, they actually ARE doing something different. So for their very long song titles, Moneen is forgiven.
This is an album often overlooked by the music community. It also takes time to grow on you, like a puzzle that just seems to take shape more and more as time goes by, until the albums direction becomes clear and the listener finds a certain aspect of it that they just can't get enough of.
"The Red Tree" brings more textured backdrops of up and down dynamics complete with crashing guitars, ringing vocals, and mid song drop offs into piano bits or soft lyrics that fans have come to love. The six minute "The Day No One Needed to Know" shows this recipe perfectly, as it fades near the halfway point, leaving vocalist Kenny Bridges singing alone, until the song kicks back in for an exuberant ending. The album starts in high gear with the opening track's hyperactive drums rolls and layered vocal harmonies, which eventually spill over into a supporting backbone of frenzied guitar. Without giving the listener any time to comprehend what they just heard, the second and third songs follow up great. However, this formula isn't especially distinctive, with each track mostly relying on the same animated formula of pent up energy bursting around upfront vocal harmonies. Further into the album, songs become more of the fast slow fast variety, as Moneen play tight and harmonize with ease. The gentleness of "This Is All Bigger Than Me" is a definite standout (and not just for its concise title), while the surging "The Frightening Reality Of The Fact That We Will All Have To Grow Up And Settle Down Some Day"(Though a ridiculously long song title) benefits from engaging riffs. The final two tracks are well executed ballads, while coming off a bit whinny at first, will grow on you as time goes on.
Lyrically, the album is very well done. All instrumental work is top notch and sure to add enough time changes to please most math rock fans, yet catchy enough to please even some mainstream pop fans. It's true, the album is not for everyone nor is it anything extremely different from other bands of the scene. What makes "The Red Tree" special is the emotion it forces upon the listener, whether they are ready for it or not.