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Wall of People

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Album Review

There are a lot of bands out there that rock (was there a time in this country when there wasn't?), but in the power stakes, Monty Are I still stand out in a packed scene. Weaving together emotive vocals, classic rock elements, edgy rhythms, aggressive delivery, a big sound, exhilarating dynamics, and some unexpected surprises, their debut album Wall of People is a rocker's delight. Not content to merely regurgitate the past's glories nor even emulate the modern crop of heroes, Wall of People strikes off down its own intriguing avenues. "Tie Off Your Veins," for example, features tuba and shifting time signatures that at times are so staccato that they're nearly reggae. Few rock bands sport brass (tuba and trumpet); even rarer are those who utilize it with such subtly and suppleness as Monty Are I. Sprinkled around the set, they're used to heighten atmosphere, build up dynamics, and add further exhilaration to rousing numbers. Synthesizer is more heavily featured, though, and for many more purposes, an integral part of the group's sound that allows the music to move easily across a wide range of styles and atmospheres. From the delicate faux harpsichord that elegantly plays across the effervescent "Island City" to the aggressive pummeling it delivers on the melodic hardcore of "In This Legacy," Andrew Borstein's synth fuels as much of Monty Are I's sound as Steve Aiello's equally versatile guitar. Twining together threads of classic rock, new wave, modern melodic punk, hardcore, emo, even electronica and hip-hop, Wall of People breaks down the barriers of today's parceled up and packaged for the specific-market rock world. Long ago, rock was just rock, no need to slice and dice it down, perhaps Monty Are I will help glue today's slivered scene back together, and this album is a giant step in that direction.


Formed: Providence, RI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Adding some brass instrumentation to post-hardcore, Providence, Rhode Island quintet Monty Are I (previously named "Monty's Fan Club" and "Monty") are Steve Aiello (vocals, guitar), Mike Matarese (bass), Andrew Borstein (keyboard, trombone), and identical twins Justin Muir (drums) and Ryan Muir (vocals, guitar, trumpet). In addition to playing dates on three Vans Warped Tours, the band has been on the road with My Chemical Romance, Story of the Year, Yellowcard, and Taking Back Sunday. Following...
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Wall of People, Monty Are I
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