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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Moneen
The Theory of Harmonial Value
Smallman Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
This record is pretty good, despite being the quentesential emo collection. I wonder how much consolation being the best at what you do brings when what you do is one of the most tired and despised sub-genres of music. Moneen play a narrow focus of post-rock music, and... Ah, hell. Moneen are emo. There, you happy? I said it. They even spell their name in all lower case, with a period at front and end - .moneen.

The Theory of Harmonial Value kicks so much ass over the course of its ten tracks that I wish this had been released years ago. In 1996, this would have been album of the year. It combines all the best parts of "Off the Wagon" by the Get Up Kids, "New Nathan Detroits" by Braid, "E. Texas Ave" by The Promise Ring, and "Stars" by HUM into one hot fucking freakout session that lasts from "The start to this may be the end to another" until the end of "Tonight I'm gone", nearly an hour all together.

When the Midwest's melodic post-punk scene exploded and took over the term from early 90's post-hardcore bands on the East coast, Emo was unstoppable. It combined complex guitar work, odd song structures and time signatures, noise, dynamics and intensely personal lyrics in a sort of high-brow, academic manner. Moneen does that all the hell over this record, and they do it well. The vocals are both out of tune and perfectly harmonized. Notes distinguish themselves, yet the guitars constantly churn out noise. It's all there. The opening track winds and unwinds over and over, changing to low, plaintive vocals to sweltering white guitar noise with a glacial pace, only to break down into introspection again. There are both sweeping hooks and abstract field noises, and the vocals range from soft to screaming and usually overlap. The guitars both pick and drone, and only one song is under four minutes long.

This is really a great record, taken as it is. Its in all the right places in all the right amounts, making for many great name comparisons, like the Emo kids love. Like if Sunny Day Real Estate met in the middle with Hero of 100 Fights but came out sounding more like Forstella Ford than Jimmy Eat World. It doesn't really break any ground, but it is a damn solid release. The fact that its a bit derivative shouldn't matter one bit in a year when the Strokes are viewed as a great leap for Rock and Roll.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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