We Are Monroe represent a part of that unique indie rock sound that has been a part of Montreal before Arcade Fire amassed critical success and what undoubtedly makes the city stand out on an international level. While the band self-admittedly holds no intention of re-inventing rock music they do present a high-energy post-punk revival sound that delivers something special to their listeners. Members Pete on bass, Drummer Ben and lead guitarist/backup vocalist Jason have been playing together since the late 90’s while lead singer Pat came in much later circa 2010 when he was snatched away from other less eventful projects. Since then they have released one EP titled, “Funeral”, and, “White Lights”, their first full length which have given an adequate introduction to what is sure to be a long and prosperous career for the band.

“White Lights” begins with Midnight Cruiser, a track that sets the tone for the album’s high energy sound and rhythmic drum/bass core. You may recognize the song if you’ve spent just one hour listening to CHOM FM since the album debuted in late April. The track’s emotional lyrics effectively deliver the tone of not only the album, but that of the entire band.

 

The energy continues with Mind Games, a track reminiscent of what one would typically expect from Toronto’s, Death From Above 1979, if it weren’t for the Ian Curtis-like vocal signatures of Pat. Jason’s rapidly picking guitar riff combined with the lyrics in DM Me, the album’s hard hitting third track keep the pace and emotion moving at a satisfying pace. Highlighted by the chorus line, “Nobody’s gonna f–k this up tonight but me” the song certainly provides an insight into the personal mind set of Pat.

The album’s fourth track, Lost in the Dark, introduces the first ballad-like piece of “White Lights”, well as “ballad” as one can expect from a band with such an dynamic post-punk quality. A significant factor to appreciate about this track and its placement in the album is that it shows how varied the band’s style is. Evidence of a good album lies within its ability to produce layers, and while the band self-admits to not seeking groundbreaking status, the tracks of “White Lights” vary significantly enough that listeners can attest to their songwriting prowess.

 

Continuing with Pull Me Under, a song defined by its heavily strummed bass riff, the album returns the energy level to full throttle. Strange Condition lets listeners know why the band have been compared to Joy Division, signified by a 1980’s like nostalgic throwback riff. Moving along we arrive at the titular track, White Lights, another ballad like piece that gives listeners greater insight into the personal space Pat Derives his lyrics from. The following two tracks, No Vacation Land and Perimeter lower the vibe slightly while simultaneously maintaining enough drum and bass rhythmic core to allow listeners to zone out and head bop at the same time. White Lights concludes with two heavier pieces, Break the Silence and Hit back, returning the atmosphere to that of the band’s signature style.

“White Lights” delivers on all levels and provides its audience a potent introduction into We Are Monroe. The band is currently touring Quebec and Ontario and will be back in Montreal on June 16th at Turbo Haus. Their live performances manage to take the already profound energy of their recordings to another level so make sure to check them out if you find the opportunity.

WAM_Pochette

WE ARE MONROE
White Lights

-Genre: Indie Rock
-In the same genre as Joy Division, Interpole, Bloc Party

Buy the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page
Follow the artist via her Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

 

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About The Author

Adam Stewart
Collaborator - RREVERB

Born into a musical family, I’ve been heavily addicted to playing and listening since the first time I laid fingers on my grandmother’s dateless electric organ. My father was an acoustic guitarist who loved CCR and my mother was a competitive tap dancer in her youth. These surroundings lead me to the guitar where I eventually trained myself in jazz theory and began to involve myself in my hometown’s music scene. Moving to Montreal has only expanded this lifelong passion and the city’s vast diversity has provided for me an endless journey into new musical discovery.