Monikers - Wake Up
Kiss of Death Records
A while ago I got my hands on some mp3s of the Banner Pilot and Monikers split 7 inch. I was impressed by both sides and looked forward to hearing more from both of these gruff Jawbreaker-ish pop punk bands. Luckily, both of them released full lengths this year! I was really excited to hear Wake Up, the recent LP by Monikers, especially when I found out that they consisted of multiple ex-members of Discount and would be in Philly in September (fuck, did I miss that show?)
Well, I'm kinda disappointed in this record. It has that scratchy vocal and fuzzy guitar sound of The Lawrence Arms, before they really started to tighten it up. This record (and band) have a ton of potential, but it's never really reached on this LP. The songs seem to blend together, with little separating the tracks (until the closing acoustic track, which is boring of it's own merit).
The songs all plod along at a slightly above mid-tempo feel, and fuzzy, slightly distorted guitars never really do enough to make it interesting. There are moments when they really slow it down, and add some different guitar layering (the bridge in "Papers") and it provides a nice change. I've heard some complaints on the production of this record, and I could see why. It's a bit muffled sounding, which could really add to a band like this, but instead hinders them here.
While I was typing this, I checked and I didn't miss that Philly show, and I'm still going to go check them out. This record is good, but with some many bands doing this style better, there's really no reason to give this particular LP too many more listens. There's a lot of potential here, and I'm hoping that they can live up to it on their next release.