Written By: Ben Millikan
Compared to the states, Canada hasn’t produced what you would call a plethora of great rock bands. That isn’t a dig at our brethren from up north, they just don’t have the media outlets that are available here in the U.S. With that being said, Canada has turned out some memorable groups throughout the sphere of rock music over the years: they gave punk-rock Propagandhi; they gave radio-rock Nickelback; they gave pop-rock Avril Lavigne. But there really hasn’t been an established prog-rock band to come out of Canada and stake their claim as a permanent fixture in rock music; that is, until Moneen (usually stiylized as.moneen.) released their fourth-full length studio album The World I Want To Leave Behind.
Now, it may be a bit presumptuous to start hanging predictions on the quartet from Brampton, Ontario, but with their latest effort they have at the very least proven their maturity and growth as a band. Vocalist and guitarist Kenny Bridges alludes to this point with his comments on the making of the new record: “We weren’t trying to reinvent ourselves as much as we were trying out some things that we would have been scared of on previous records.” The is a huge stepping-stone for any band. The freedom to write with reckless abandon opens up new musical doors, and in the case of Moneen, it shows on The World I Want To Leave Behind.
Opening up with ambient, reverb-drenched guitars strumming underneath the profound lines of Bridges, “The World I Want To Leave Behind” is a microcosm of the whole album: a slow, atmospheric beginning is abruptly launched into a cacophony of cymbals and distortion. Moneen, typically labeled as an indie band, shows that they are capable of branching into other genres while maintaing their own unique sound. Whether it be the furious punk beat during the bridge of “The Long Count” or the fusion of acoustic guitars and strings on the emotional “Waterfalls,” Moneen is able to experiment while never fully abandoning their core sound.
Aside from their diversity and musical expansiveness, first-time listeners will immediately be drawn in to Bridges’ inspirational lyrics. A rarity in contemporary rock music, Bridges doesn’t go for the stereotypical “break-up” song or the all too formulaic “me against the world” song; rather, drawing on personal experiences, Bridges is able to translate his lyrics with genuineness and empathy: “Did you look up today / Did you find the words to say / The world is your own? / The world is your own / Your own way.”
The wide and diverse sound that Moneen has achieved with The World I Want To Leave Behind may not translate into instant mainstream success, but by going against conventional wisdom and tearing down those musical doors the future looks promising.
Like Moneen? Check out: Dredge, As Cities Burn, Circa Survive