The Verge: Monument

A personal note: I recently celebrated a birthday, putting me firmly on the wrong side of 25. Usually, I don’t feel (or act) much older, but there are certain experiences that make me feel my age. None is more telling than when music you grew up with sees an underground rebirth.

For background: The soundtrack of my high school years was dominated by the misunderstood and much-maligned genre of emo. Emotional hardcore – with it’s mid-80s DC birth – had seen a few iterations by the time South Florida high schoolers like myself were listening to it at the turn of the millenium. Rites of Spring begat Braid which begat the Triple Crown, Vagrant, and Deep Elm bands we listened to: Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, Hot Rod Circuit, Northstar. We jumped ship as Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance found mainstream success: by then, emo had reached the pinnacle of self-parody. So it goes.

With that said, I didn’t expect another wave of emo less than a decade after driving around town blasting Tell All Your Friends. But here we are, with a major proponent of a return to Cap’n Jazz styled-emo from the genre’s birthplace, with a very-DC moniker: Monument.

Monument’s full length debut, Goes Canoeing, was released last month, and it’s packed with 10 songs that reveal promise for the future, yet are as nostalgic as reading from an old yearbook.

Dueling vocals from Gabe Marquez and Dan Doggett bleed with emotion: heartache, yearning, and other emo telltales. The four-piece, rounded out by drummer Brandon Korch and guitarist Anton Kropp, firmly navigate the post-hardcore landscape: fleet-fingered riffs, an unrelenting bass engine, and rollicking, explosive drumming.

The songs alternate between non-stop moshers (“Roots Run Deep,” “Diamond Age”) and loud-quiet-loud anthems (“Glass House,” “Breakfast”). These songs beg for fists-in-the-air sing-alongs, a trait shared by the best emo, regardless of wave.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/03-Monument-Glass-House.mp3″ text=”Monument – Glass House” dl=”0″]

Goes Canoeing proves that the underpinnings of emo will never go out of style. Monument performs at a record release party at the hole in the wall Hole in the Sky on December 10.

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