Published May 19, 2009After the stripped-down, early Jimmy Eat World-style emo that these guys rocked on their very awesome self-titled debut EP there's no way anyone could have predicted the insane monster that is Monolith. Produced by Canadian metal legend Devin Townsend, this record is nothing if not huge as fuck. Somehow Townsend keeps it all in the service of the songs though, which is what makes Monolith such a striking creation. The production is so inventive that it could easily eclipse the basic work of a band in a room writing song together, and yet it doesn't. Monolith is a record of well-written, creative and catchy songs that just happens to sound like a million bucks. Notable for featuring guitarist and vocalist Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid, Sights & Sounds are clearly a totally separate entity, one that draws upon an unexpectedly cohesive mix of Lifetime and Explosions in the Sky, melding epic rock grandeur with an emotionally straight-forward punk rock sensibility. If you enjoyed the band before, the new sound will take a few spins to get used to but it's worth the effort. And if you're new to the trip, get on it because it obviously rules.
Was this always how you envisioned the band or was it a conscious change in direction?
Vocalist and guitarist Andrew Neufeld: I think we always pictured our songs having a somewhat bigger sound when writing them, incorporating a lot of different elements, instruments and ideas. When we recorded the EP, we just kind of did it ourselves as demos just to get some ideas down and hear what our songs could potentially sound like, as it was a completely new kind of band for all of us. Now we've focused the vision a little bit more and finally had the time and resources to make it happen and have the songs down they way we hear in our heads.
Given Devin Townsend's metal pedigree, where did the idea to work with him for a pretty un-metal record come from?
Guitarist Adrian Mottram: Misery Signals introduced me to Devin during the recording of their Controller record. I knew in a matter of minutes he was the dude for Sights. The atmosphere he creates for all the production he does is incredible. It was like I was handed the missing link. I spent a day watching them track guitars and the whole time I was just totally blown away with the environment he created in the studio for the band. (Mush)