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Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s - EP

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Album Review

Moneen's 2000 debut EP, Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s, introduced the quirks and flourishes that would define their sound on their later albums, Theory of Harmonial Value and Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?. Urgent, high-pitched vocals, anthemic melodies, shifting time signatures, and intricately structured songcraft define the band's blend of emo and math rock, particularly on "How Many Other Girls Are There in the World Anyway?." "Wrath of the Donkey Remix" has so many parts that it could almost be a suite, and the way that all of the songs flow seamlessly into each other gives Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s a consistency most bands can't reach on their first efforts (or ever, for that matter). However, this consistency becomes a little too samey in places. "The Passing of America" sounds so similar to the two songs before it that it feels a bit repetitive, but "This Year I've Had Enough" shows the kind of ambition and innovation that marked the best of Moneen's later work. Moving from layered, circular vocals to a surging chorus and then combining the two in unpredictable ways, the song is both of a piece, and yet distinctive from, the rest of the EP. While Moneen's ideas may not have been completely formed or expertly executed at this point, Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s is still an impressive start.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Toronto's emo quartet Moneen began with vocalists/guitarists Kenny Bridges and Chris Hughes, bassist Mark Bowser, and drummer Peter Krpan. Moneen formed in 1999 after the dissolution of Perfectly Normal, and released their debut EP, The Smaller Chairs for the 1900s, the following year on Smallman Records. In 2001, they finally put out their first full-length, the ten-song Theory of Harmonial Value. Along the way, Erik Hughes joined in on bass, and in 2003 Moneen returned with Are We Really Happy...
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Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s - EP, Moneen
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