Albums of the year 2010

# 8. Monzano - By This Time Last Year Everything Will Seem Younger
(Spoon Train Audio, February 15th 2010)

Yeah, OK, I know these guys. They are some of my best friends, but just forget that fact for a moment. If I never even had met the guys in Monzano I would still love their music. One of Norway's best and most underappreciated bands - they should be huge, but I guess they're still obscure.

By This Time.. is the band's second album and a great big leap forward. That's not to say that the first album wasn't great, because it were, but the band has developed a lot both in their playing, writing and especially production details. The first album was a kind of classic lo-fi indie album while this one is more sophisticated and more adventurous.

First single, "Cold Waters", became a sort of radio hit - well deserved. Interestingly that song is quite different from the rest of the songs with it's almost traditional build-up. These guys doesn't usually follow the verse - verse - chorus tradition, more often than not the songs don't have any chorus - still they are catchy as hell.

This album is packed with potensially big indie-hits with smart lyrics and great melodies. What do you say to lyrics like:

"Oh I never thought that it would come to this,
I've read every page of The Economist.."
("Yes, We Can't")

"I've got thirteen syllables boiling in my mouth,
I should have swallowed them,
but four words forwards,
and you'll just want to get out.."
("Sleeping on Sleepers")

"Now there's a tug-o-war straining on your vocal chords.
And only spite is slipping out.
But forgive those foul and bitter nouns.
Forgive the verbs you can't pronounce.
Forgive the buildings, then the trees.
And forgive me. I can still breathe.
Though there's this rattling in my spine that I can't shake or put at ease.
And forgive them.
They're still your friends.
Send those memories into orbit, let us watch while they burn as they descend."
("The Buildings, Then the Trees")

My favourites on the album are "Yes, We Can't", Death Cab For Cutie-ish "Grand Siblings", the almost Built to Spill referencing "Sleeping on Sleepers" and the achingly beautiful album closer "The Buildings, Then the Trees".

Monzano - Yes, We Can't