Moneen - Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now? (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now? (2003)


They should be happy, with a record like this. I'll admit, I had only heard a few tracks of their previous album "The Theory of Harmonial Value" and hadn't heard any of their first EP when I got a copy of this new disc. So I will break down their sound for all of you just getting acquainted with the band-like me- and if this is the first you're hearing of them, I'm sure it won't be the last. With the team up of Vagrant and Smallman Records to push this album and a three week US tour in July, I'm sure these Canadians will garner up quite a buzz.

Right from the get-go, it's hard not to like these guys. During the first song, the title track, a surface observation would be that the singer sounds a lot like Matt Pryor from the Get Up Kids, not a bad thing. As the song goes on, the spastic, fast guitars and intricate rhythms remind me of the Casket Lottery, and the great melodies of Jimmy Eat World. The bridge sections fades to a heavy-reverb spacey guitar, and then unpredictable hits come in, bringing the rest of the band back for a strong ending, bringing thoughts of the intensity of Cursive.

"Start Angry…End Mad" is another great track, and I especially dig the back and forth screaming, showcasing another aspect used well by the mostly melodic band. The track pounds ahead with a sweet high guitar harmony and in the middle it settles down with an arpeggiated riff… only to take off with a jam on one chord in a syncopated rhythm over heavy drums. These guys can really rock it, but also know when to back it down, taking you somewhere during the songs instead of just blasting through the entire way.

However, these Canadians aren't all smiles und sunshine for me. The album seems to drag a bit in the middle, and it runs a little long at over 50 minutes. These guys enjoy long songs and they make it work because each one is well written and explores many levels of dynamics and moods, but somehow when thinking back on the album, the middle tracks run together in my mind. Yeah, I guess my attention span has been ruined by punk, for I just seem to doze mentally in the middle.

I am perked up again by "How to Live with the thought that Sometimes Life Ends" but it reminds me of "Start Angry…" from before, with its high guitar line. But the song is great, and I guess there is no harm in having a style. The album does end well, closed by the 9 minute "The Last Song I will Ever Want to Sing" which again hints at their influence of Jimmy Eat World, with their ability to write a great ballad that builds and makes the time fly by.

This album is solid, just a little lengthy. Any fan of the above-mentioned bands will likely appreciate these rising stars from Canada. Are they really happy with who they are right now? At least musically I should hope - they are doing something worth hearing.