I was excited to give Monumomentum a listen; Jeff Evans, the mastermind behind the project, is from my hometown of Chicago, IL, and I love listening to local artists. He is open about his influences (naming Tool and Rush, as well as members of bands he used to play with), and you can hear his passion in every note. There are some great high-energy songs included in this album Monumomentum (MNMMNTM). Opener “Face” features a ticking drum and swirling guitars, giving the impression of falling into a vortex; it is an attention grabbing song, and a great way to start the album. “MNMMNTM” does a great job of carrying that energy, sounding like something from the Dynasty Warriors soundtrack. The groovy section really breaks up the song nicely and offers a break from the action. In a similar vein, “Done!” has a nice 80s touch, and aptly describes the feeling of finishing a large project, and the resulting relief from the same. These songs are some of the longest on the album, and though in some cases they seem a bit too long, the time signature changes and differing key scales keeps each one interesting.
On the other side of the spectrum are some of the heaviest, yet shortest, songs on the album. “False” is a highly emotive piece that brings Tool to mind, and is one of the most heart-wrenchingly genuine songs here. “Never” sounds like a fantasy song, and plays much like an interlude. I wish these were longer, but their short length adds a poignancy that would be lost if they were full length. Peppered between the high energy and the interludes are more fun songs, and these are the ones that hold the most personality in the album. “Syntax” offers a solo that can only be described as air-guitarrific. “Lumber” has a futuristic, almost Daft Punk-esque underlay, which makes it unique to the other songs here. “Beers For Algernon” was a very interesting song; the drum has an enhanced presence, and it reminds me of a progressive, rocked out version of the music you hear when you’re waiting on hold.
My favorite song was one that seemed to have a great deal of personal significance to the artist: “Nueve – featuring Jason Mallow (bonus track)”. The Spanish guitar rears its head big time in this song. It reminds me a lot of the style of “Obsession Confession” by Slash, and that’s a very good thing. Unlike the rest of the album, which certainly has more of a lounge appeal, this is a song you want to dance to. Though it wasn’t originally intended to be the final track, it was a really great way to close out the album, ending it on a high note.
Overall, this album was a pretty cool concept. I love how the influences are clear but not overpowering; this is still a unique work. Although I thought some of the songs were too long, and others were too short, ultimately the whole piece balanced well. This is the kind of music I would listen to while getting work done; intriguing enough to keep you alert and listening, but not so busy that it’s distracting.
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