Monty Are I | Break Through the Silence
Most Likely To: be a blip on the screen.
Rhode Island has given us many things. It’s the perfect place to put the University of Rhode Island. And the Ghost Hunters live there, so R.I.’s got that going for itself. Monty Are I also happen to hail from the Island. They take ‘Monty’ from their high school band teacher, and the ‘Are I’ denotes the postal RI. Comprised of five guys, MAI won Takeover Records’ Sign My Band contest on MySpace, and also won an Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands. Break Through the Silence is their first major label offering.
After the third go round–who says I don’t suffer for my art?–one thing becomes abundantly clear. Check that, actually two things become abundantly clear. 1) I am a masochist and 2) Shit, these guys sound like a dozen other bands out there right now. I mean, take your frickin’ pick. Go peruse your moody little sister’s iPod under Most Listened. There you will find such bands as Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, Fallout Boy, Panic at the Disco, et al. Add to this that MAI has been on five Warped Tours and I think you get the idea.
Emo around the Manor is about as popular as Roman Polanski at the Girl Scouts jamboree. Truth be told, Breaking is not a horrible album. The worst thing is the prevailing concept that I’ve heard this all before (and still don’t get its appeal).
Vocally, singer Steve Aiello’s register usually rests somewhere between Taking Back Sunday and The Used, with a pinch of Fair to Midland. The lyrics rarely sway from the emo range and the choruses grow a bit repetitive. “On the Wire,” a song about love over the phone, contains such passages as “lungs fill to take a final breath” and “insomnia is the death of dreaming.” “Convoy of Angels” is a deeper song than its “cure my infection with the will to survive” would lead you to believe. Apparently detailing his mother’s battle with cancer, and the chance one day he might suffer the same fate, the song is deeper than most emo effluvia.
MAI suffers the most on the musical front. Maybe it’s the result of being on a major label. Maybe it’s their time touring with some of the above bands. Maybe it’s because their producers also produced Panic and Good Charlotte. Their sound is similar to any other of a handful of bands currently blaring overhead at your local Hot Topic. I guess that’s not a bad thing, as many of those bands have made major bank over the years.
Their melodies and structures are okay, and I can see where the ballad “All of You” would strike a chord with 15 year old girls with purple hair and at least one piercing in or about the facial area. Andrew Borstein is able to provide some nice variations in the form of strings and synthesizers, particularly on songs like “Sand Riders Doomsday” and “The Stand.” Things maybe go a bit too far with a few songs’ use of middle-eastern instrumentation. While the music is decent for the genre, I just don’t see any growth out from that.