Moneen – The Red Tree (2006)

FrontCover1Moneen (sometimes stylised as .moneen.) is a Canadian indie rock band from Brampton, Ontario.

Moneen formed in 1999 after the dissolution of another band, called Perfectly Normal. The founding members were singer/guitarist Kenny Bridges, bassist Mark Bowser, drummer Peter Krpan and singer/guitarist Chris Hughes.

The band recorded their first EP Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s in Kenny’s basement. They then re-released it on Smallman Records with their second album “The Theory of Harmonial Value”, the band’s next release was Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now in 2003. The album appeared on the !earshot National Top 50 chart in August, 2003.

Bowser was replaced by Chris Slorach (Nu Chris), who left the band after the release of The Theory of Harmonial Value. Erik Hughes (who played bass for the band on their first Canadian tour) later became the permanent bass player for the band.

In 2003 the band’s lineup was Bridges, Krpan, and Chris and Erick Hughes. That year they performed in Austin.

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Moneen later signed to Vagrant Records. Smallman Records still distributes their albums in Canada. In 2005 they released a split EP with friends Alexisonfire on Dine Alone Records, on which each band covered two of the other’s songs, plus one original song.

In 2005, director Alex Liu followed the band through the recording process for The Red Tree, filming a documentary entitled The Start to This May Be the End to Another. The Red Tree was released on April 11, 2006 on CD and vinyl. The vinyl release of The Red Tree was limited to 300 copies. The band joined the 2006 Warped Tour to promote the album.[6] The documentary was released as part of The Moneen DVD: It All Started with a Red Stripe on May 13, 2008. The DVD had been nominated for a Juno Award for Music DVD of The Year.

In March 2008, Moneen parted ways with their drummer Peter Krpan, who decided to start a solo project named One Grand Canyon; the band recruited drummer Steve Nunnaro as a permanent replacement.

Moneen began recording their fourth studio album The World I Want to Leave Behind in December 2008,; it was released September 15, 2009 with Dine Alone Records. They released it on CD and vinyl. The vinyl release had a bonus track called “Dark & Ugly”. The band went on tour in the United States to support the album, including a stop in Los Angeles at the Troubadour.

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In 2010, Peter Krpan re-joined Moneen as the permanent drummer. The band opened for several dates on Alexisonfire’s farewell tour in December 2012, however the band had performed very little throughout 2012 and after 2013 were in hiatus. Krpan, along with Chris and Eric Hughes, formed a new band in 2013 named Seas, signed a deal with Black Box Music, and went out on tour. Bridges joined a band called Cunter, worked as the guitar tech for The Sheepdogs, toured with Say Anything on guitar, and released an EP in August 2015 “Love and Hate”.

In 2016, Moneen performed in Toronto at Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub.

In 2017 the band played a four-date tour leading up to the 10th anniversary of The Red Tree, held at Lee’s Palace in Toronto.

In January 2019, the band played three shows at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now. In April 2019, Alexisonfire announced that Moneen would be supporting then for one date in July 2019, describing Moneen as the “Siegfried to Alexisonfire’s Roy”.

The Red Tree is the third full-length album by the rock band Moneen. There was also a documentary that chronicled the writing and recording of this album. A music video was released for If Tragedy’s Appealing, Then Disaster’s An Addiction, and it has had some play-time on MuchMusic and FUSE. (wikipedia)

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For Moneen’s third full-length, the guys start with a bang and end with a whisper. Quietly perfecting an invigorating mix of emo (à la the Get Up Kids) and math rock since their 1999 debut EP, The Red Tree brings more textured backdrops of up-and-down dynamics complete with crashing guitars, ringing vocals, and mid-song drop-offs into piano bits or soft lyrics that fans have come to love. The six-minute “The Day No One Needed to Know” shows this recipe perfectly, as it fades near the halfway point, leaving vocalist Kenny Bridges singing alone, until the song — yup — kicks back in for an exuberant ending. The album starts in high gear with the opening track’s hyperactive drums rolls and layered vocal harmonies, which eventually spill over into a supporting backbone of frenzied guitar. Without pausing for breath, the second and third songs follow suit. However, this brisk opening trifecta isn’t especially distinctive, with each track mostly relying on the same animated formula of pent-up energy bursting around upfront vocal harmonies. Further into the album, songs become more of the up-and-down, fast-slow-fast variety, as Moneen play tight and harmonize with ease.

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The gentleness of “This Is All Bigger Than Me” is a definite standout (and not just for its concise title), while the surging “The Frightening Reality…” benefits from engaging riffs. The final two tracks are more fully developed ballads that escape the usual build-up of the rest of the album, but “There Are a Million Reasons…” somewhat has the feeling of being the requisite slow song for a band like the Used that the delicate “The Song I Swore to Never Sing” thankfully evades. It’s always nice to see a band attempt to step outside the boundaries constraining so many other groups of the emo new school, and Moneen seem to consistently separate themselves from the pack in this way. The Red Tree is another capable release to add to their others, but the time might be appropriate for an expansion on their own formula to occur. (by Corey Apar)

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Personnel:
Kenny Bridges (vocals, guitar)
Chris “Hippy” Hughes (guitar, vocals)
Erik Hughes (bass guitar, vocals)
Peter Krpan (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Ever Tell Locke What He Can’t Do 2.58
02. If Tragedy’s Appealing, Then Disaster’s An Addiction 3.20
03. Bleed And Blister (Version 3) 3.27
04. The Day No One Needed To Know 6.05
05. This Is All Bigger Than Me 3.05
06. The Frightening Reality of the Fact That We Will All Have to Grow Up and Settle Down One Day 3.56
07. The Politics Of Living And The Shame In Dying 3.37
08. The East Has Stolen What The West May Want 3.35
09. Seasons Fade… Fevers Rage… It’s A Slow Decay 3.46
10. There Are A Million Reasons For Why This May Not Work… And Just One Good One For Why It Will 5.38
11. The Song I Swore To Never Sing 3.22

All songs written by Kenny Bridges – Chris Hughes – Erik Hughes – Peter Krpan

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