Alternative Press included Moneen's latest effort, The Red Tree, on its "10 Essential Albums of 2006" list, and went on to say that if you'd give your favorite record of the year five stars, The Red Tree would get six. Now, chances are, you're thinking, "That's just crazy talk." And it probably is. But it's easy to see how somebody could get a bit carried away. It is a stunning show of force, a majestic collection of anthems whose muscular punch is driven home by explosive guitars and a singer whose impassioned wail is just the thing to put across the drama of a song like "If Tragedy's Appealing, Then Disaster's an Addiction." It wouldn't be the worst mistake a person ever made to call it emo, but it's been a while since any band has made a better, more consistently intriguing album of emotionally charged Warped Tour drama. And as great as they sound on moments as exciting as the lead-off track, "Don't Ever Tell Locke What He Can't Do," or "Bleed and Blister (Version 3)," they're not afraid to pull it back a bit, signing off with a shockingly beautiful ballad that ends things on a haunting note.


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