I’ve had this album for several months, but it’s now just starting to grow on me. Roadside Monument plays that kind of music that’s really hard to classify. I suppose the generic term is “emo-punk,” and they definitely fit into the “emo” part, with very loud, noisy songs and powerful vocals. However, they don’t fit the punk mold at all. Musically, Roadside Monument is all over the place, with quiet lounge flavorings on “Seed,” poppy melodies on “A Girl Named Actually,” and huge guitar walls on “Prozac Princess.” But the most interesting part of Roadside Monument is the fact that they change musical styles so much within one song.
My favorite example of this is “Seed,” which starts off really smooth and swank, but soon transforms into something else entirely, with vocalist Doug Lorig screaming over pummeling guitars. That’s the beauty of this album, the variety and the skill with which they use that variety. Each of the songs build to climaxes that explode in raw beauty, with progressions that tug at you. Even though the album contains 10 songs, it’s almost as if you listen to three times that many. The vocals are rough and unpolished, but there’s a touching sincerity about them, especially on “Boasting in Weakness,” where Lorig sings about his dependance on God, or on “Prozac Princess.”
Even though this album clocks in at 40 minutes, the album seems much longer than that. While musically, their sound ranges from Sunny Day Real Estate to Sonic Youth, they are strong enough to stand on their own. There’s a delightful quirkiness to them, one that draws you in. I can listen to this album several times and each song sounds fresh with each new listen. Roadside Monument’s music is instantly accessible, but has enough depth, intensity, and emotion to keep me coming back.