Monument [D.C.] - Goes Canoeing [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Monument [D.C.]

Goes Canoeing [12-inch] (2011)

Tiny Engines

After a string of curious demos and EPs, Washington, D.C., act Monument finally delivers on all that promise with Goes Canoeing, a stellar set that recalls the spastic edge of Cap'n Jazz with a bit of CSTVT's ambience. At a brisk 10 songs in 29 minutes, it's yet another great release for 2011.

The record opens with the white noise of "Untitled" before segueing into "Roots Run Deep", one of the more convulsive numbers. Shouted vox, heavy guitar and even a paroxysmal trumpet solo come together to make a nifty two minutes and 41 seconds of rocking. "Roots Run Deep" pretty much sets the M.O. for the record, and I'll bet it makes a strong opening number live. "Glass House" mellows out slightly for a sec before ratcheting the energy back up for a big chorus.

Monument finds a nice blend between the arty and the poppy throughout Canoeing, but especially so on "This Is 113". The tune dials down the tempo a little, slowing down to more of a mid-'90s emo/indie rock clip with a big ol' "whoa" at its core. I'm not saying it sounds astonishingly like the Promise Ring or anything–that noodle of a guitar solo is too out there–but it sure does satisfy a similar craving.

From there, the second half just keeps turning out the hits. "Diamond Age" is another catchy ditty. "Breakfast" is another pendulum swing towards the subdued, powered by a simple bassline and some ambient guitar before quietly building itself up into a post-punk barnburner. Goes Canoeing might be a little tongue-in-cheek in its title (and what's up with that guy giving a mountain a handjob on the back cover?), but the songs are a serious blend of post-rock atmosphere and post-hardcore fury. If this had come out 15 years ago, it would have been an emo classic.