Album Review :
Hadwynn - Monuments

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Artist: Hadwynn
Album: Monuments
Label: Lucas Gambit Records
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Reviewed by: Cimarron Hatch
Buy The Album Here

1. Entrance
2. O! The Noise!
3. Frames
4. So Long (The King)
5. Sort of Grey
6. Mothervine
7. Sing Softly
8. Brother Blackwell
9. Things I Already Know
10. Soma
11. The Seed Song

Hadwynn is a new band based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. The album was released on iTunes January 10, and the physical CD on February 7. The band is made up of Daniel Moore (guitar and vocals), Jarrett Gercken (guitar and vocals), and Jon Marks (Drums). Self-defined as “as hard hitting as Emery; musically complex as Death Cab for Cutie; and lyrically pronounced as Manchester Orchestra,” this band will keep you guessing as to what each song will be like.

Monuments begins with the song “Entrance,” an over three-minute intro that reminded me of walking into church after the music has already started, and I assume that was the band’s intended feeling. The song is a good intro to the album, but I felt that it was too long with not enough substance. Next is “O! The Noise!” a song about building monuments (whether physical or metaphorical) to yourself instead of to God. The third song on the album is “Frames,” which I would compare to some of House of Heroes’ music, though at only two minutes long I found that the song was a bit too monotonous with excessive ranting. Next comes “So Long (The King).” I liked the vocals on this song, but I couldn’t really understand the lyrics because they were mumbled, which bothered me. After “So Long” comes “Sort of Grey,” a melancholy song about wondering why God would choose us as his own. I thought the lyrics of the chorus were cool: “What could you want with me? / Oh my God, / you can’t be that lonely.”

The second half of the album passes pleasantly through the songs “Mothervine,” (which had a cool guitar riff throughout), “Sing Softly,” “Brother Blackwell,” “Things I Already Know,” (which was reminiscent of Edison Glass with an odd jumble of words and music), and the song “Soma.” The word “soma” means “an intoxicating or hallucinogenic beverage” or a muscle relaxing medication, and so I’m not exactly sure how it relates to this song, considering they talk about how blue and green are the same color…Wait, what? Oh well. The final song on the album is called “The Seed Song,” and is about vocalist/guitarist Daniel Moore, who wrote the song while he was being tested for a rare form of arthritis that killed his grandfather. The melody sounds happy enough, but the song is actually pretty sad while also offering encouragement.

Overall: This is an interesting album. I think it will reach a lot of people who will relate to the lyrics of each song. I like the vocals on this album a lot; Daniel Moore has a great voice. The instrumentation is also truly a step above most bands at this time. My only complaint is that many of the songs seem too long and a few tended to lose my attention. But this is a great album from some great guys, and I am excited to see what the future may hold for them.