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Fuel - Monuments to Excess (Cover Artwork)

Fuel

Fuel: Monuments to ExcessMonuments to Excess (2000)
Broken Rekids

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: feeeding5000feeeding5000
(others by this writer | submit your own)

For the past few weeks, I've been searching for an album to review where I could just name-drop the shit out of it. You know what I'm talking about: putting in endless comparisons to revered and slightly better-known bands just to show how much I know about a given genre. Well, I've finally found th.
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For the past few weeks, I've been searching for an album to review where I could just name-drop the shit out of it. You know what I'm talking about: putting in endless comparisons to revered and slightly better-known bands just to show how much I know about a given genre. Well, I've finally found that album in Fuel's Monuments to Excess. Before you start all your, "I thought this was PUNKnews" bullshit, this is a different Fuel than the one you've heard on the radio. This Fuel was a stellar late `80s / early `90s Bay Area melodic post-hardcore band, not some grungy crap. This CD serves as a discography for the short-lived band. It contains their self-titled LP, the Take Effect EP, their side of a split, and one or two compilation tracks.

Now, to the name-dropping: Fuel is, first and foremost, an unabashed tribute to the Dischord bands of Revolution Summer. What struck me immediately when I put the discography on was the similarity to Soulside. I mean, Fuel has the gruff, yet melodic vocals, guitars that are mostly poppy but occasionally discordant, and, during the slower songs, some interesting dubby drumming. What separates Fuel from being a complete clone is their pop sensibility -- some songs, especially the instrumental tracks, have much more in common with the melodic hardcore of Dag Nasty. Hell, I'd even go so far as to say that "2:52," the first instrumental track, reminds me of Leatherface. A few songs also remind me a little of Take It Back-era Gray Matter, especially when the raspier vocalist sings.

Now, truth be told, I am a Dischord devotee. Shit, man, I have a Branch Manager poster, and not even the members of Branch Manager liked Branch Manager. Hearing an album that takes the best, catchiest, most inspiring parts of all of the various Dischord bands and fuses them together into a delicious post-hardcore sandwich, well, that just makes me smile. Because of the obviousness of the influences, the music is instantly familiar. Case in point, at the end of LP closer, "Not Up for Sale," I really want to sing along, but manage only to shout, "you set yourself up for saaaaaaale." Monuments to Excess is the sort of album where, if you know jack shit about the D.C. sound or emocore, you will automatically love it. And that's a damn fact.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lushj (January 30, 2009)

I was never a post-Minor Threat Dischord devotee, but even I love this record. Great stuff, and "The Name Is" still has a lot of lyrical relevance.

feeeding5000 (July 14, 2007)

Yeah, Scott...there's a lot of formative punk rock stuff that I bypassed because I made it a goal to get into the music as far as possible. See, I was probably out buying the Dirt discography or the Shit Split when I would've been most receptive to HWM. I'm gonna look for Fuel for the Hate Game now, after liking this album. It's just one of those pop-punk/melodic "hardcore" bands I always passed by, like Avail and, until like 3 months ago, Lifetime.

maverick (July 14, 2007)

"(or I guess HWM, I haven't heard them)"

Seriously? How is that even possible? It's not like they were some obscure band who never did anything and broke up after two years. Dudes toured nonstop and put out record after record for over 10 years (starting in '93).

I can't believe you frequent this site but have never heard Hot Water Music.

-Scott

feeeding5000 (July 13, 2007)

Umm...there's 30-sec clips on itunes, but if you like Soulside/Dag Nasty (or I guess HWM, I haven't heard them), you should just buy it.

Anonymous (July 12, 2007)

where can i hear this? I cant find anything on any torrent sites.

joeymagnet (July 12, 2007)

classic!

Cos (July 11, 2007)

I was instantly less enthralled by Hot Water Music after listening to this. Good stuff.

SloaneDaley (July 10, 2007)

John Henry West was pretty good, nothing sticks with me too much save for their track from that comp with a date for a title but still pretty good. I prefer this.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

When people are looking for either punk or emo, this is always the first album I recommend. This band is what got me into all of Kirsch's other amazing bands (especially John Henry West and Please Inform the Captain This Is a Hijack), and although I don't listen to this record as much anymore, I'd still have to say it's my favorite of what he's done. Songs like Some Gods are so powerful you can't help but sing (or shout) along. Disengaged was the beginning anthem of every single bus ride to high school for about a year, and songs like Activate and Remains to be Seen are still two of my favorite songs.

If you haven't heard anything by this band before, do it now.

-Pat

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Fuck yes!

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Hands down this beats all the shit that now passes as "emo". They sing the lyrics like they fucking mean it and there is not a single song about a girl. It's about shit that matters, then and now. HWM swung off these guys nuts so hard I'm not sure how they weren't sued for the first couple of records. If you don't believe me, just ask Chuck.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

classic record.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

"I'm also surprised you didn't mention Hot Water Music in this review at all, because this is basically the blueprint for the first 2-3 HWM records."

TOTALLY! I'm also suprised (since you wanted to drop names) that you didn't mention Mike Kirch and all the other brilliant bands he's been in.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Sucks that Fuel kicked out Brett Scallions...

It'll be hard to listen to Fuel again.

Fuel's still a cool band, even if it pretty punk now.

Fabian Nunez
Speaker
California State Assembly

SloaneDaley (July 10, 2007)

Feeding is an emo! great reviews.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

wow, thats the best mistake i've ever heard scott.

i'm enjoying the good reviews here today. fuel, indian summer.. so great.

-greyicewater

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

I love this cd. Go to amazon and read some of the customer reviews of Monuments To Excess.

maverick (July 10, 2007)

I'm also surprised you didn't mention Hot Water Music in this review at all, because this is basically the blueprint for the first 2-3 HWM records.

-Scott

maverick (July 10, 2007)

This album rules. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I accidentally bought it because I thought it was the radio-rock Fuel (I bought the original version of this on Allied back in the mid-'90s when I was a wee youngin'). One of the best mistakes I've ever made. "Take Effect" is a jam and a half.

-Scott

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