Album Review :
My Compatriots - Waiting for Monuments to Pass
Artist: My Compatriots
Album: Waiting for Monuments to Pass
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: March 28, 2008
Review by: Eric Pettersson
Tracklist (based on the lyrics, I firmly believe this tracklist is out of order, but this is how it appears on the back of the CD packaging… if a band member reads this, I would appreciate the correct tracklist to be left in the comments):
1. Bending Heart
2. Summering Afternoon
3. Your Ecliptic Plane
4. Signing the Peace Accords
5. Waiting for Monuments
6. Prevailing Westerly’s
7. Downtown Promanade
8. Medicinal Hold
9. Stay On Board
Today is another first in my life. This time it’s the “first” of reviewing an unsigned Christian indie-rock supergroup. Comprised of former members from Stairwell, Plankeye, Slow Coming Day, Bloodshed, Fanmail, and The Franchise, this five-piece rock act comes with an automatic expectation much like that of Neon Horse or even Audioslave. If the members used to be in good bands, together they should make an even better band, right? While in some cases this may be true and in others not so true, in the case of My Compatriots, that is one verdict this reviewer does not feel comfortable to make. Not until after he hears another album or two. But for now, he does feel comfortable to at least discuss how their debut, Waiting for Monuments to Pass, stands up in the current musical spectrum.
OK, well, I will make one comparison to former bands. First off, it must be understood that this is not just a blending of sounds from the past. This is a group of creative individuals coming together and writing music. Sure, they’ve all done this in the past and offer what they’ve learned and developed from those years, but just because Scott Siletta is in My Compatriots doesn’t mean it has any resemblance to Plankeye (I mean, he’s not even singing this time around, he’s the drummer), and just because Ryan McIntosh is playing guitar doesn’t mean it sounds like Slow Coming Day. Any influence from those older bands shines through in a very subtle way not even worth mentioning, and My Compatriots really do focus on creating a new and inspiring sound.
And as far as the verdict goes for whether or not My Compatriots’ debut can stand as a good album even without their former reputations, the answer is a decided YES. Their style of melodic pop rock is brewed just right to please fans of both modern-moving indie rock and 90s alternative. Lyrical themes maintain balance between social commentary and personal introspection, while musical directions also transition from upbeat pop tunes to slower acoustic folk songs. Not a track is filler, and everything is catchy yet thoughtful, fun but not pointless. Clever lines and light guitar tones work together to form an album that is clearly a standout among independent releases this year, maintaining the maturity of these musicians’ years in a freshness of sound that’s ripe for the listening.