August 10, 2006


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Monty Are I, Wall of People
Stolen Transmission/Island Records, 2006

You want to see someone get defensive, tell Rhode Island's Monty Are I that they sound emo. Take it from someone who recently tried to force-feed them a reality basket with curly fries. It's mainly the cardboard-cutout Blink 182 vocals of Steve Aiello that scream Thursday, to be sure, elsewise you have here a moderately innovative art-rock venture that's Dashboard Confessional on Ozzy juice, diluted when the crew unknowingly rips off pomp-proggers Visions of Atlantis ("Tie Off Your Veins") and tables Springsteen's idea of a coda ("Just In Time"). When Aiello isn't ruining the moment with robotic scale work he does a Brad Delp decent enough to inspire the band to bust out the Pro Tools and make like Queen, which, he apparently reckons, justifies his Yngwie Malmsteen lead work. All wiseassness aside, it's an encouraging record that's evolutionarily progressive whether or not Fugazi would approve of their beloved hardcore-raised genre being inexorably sculpted into the next Enormo-dome spectacle to be universally reviled by the very punks who blah blah blah. Long strange trip, huh? B-

— Eric. W. Saeger

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