Money Money has lived the rock and roll dream. They had it all: the album deal,
the pro record, the radio singles, and the music videos. They toured Europe, became
the focus of the upcoming documentary film “Road to Rock”, and played countless venues
across Canada in front of countless fans. In the grand scheme of things, Money Money
had all of the elements that make up a top-notch pop band. There was just one problem…
Money Money is NOT a pop band.
Sure, they fooled a few of the suburban mallrat music mongers with their hipster
hairstyles and fashionable flare, and their boyish charm made the teenage heart throb
with the greatest of ease. But when they got on stage, with the distortion pumping and
the audience screaming, they were unable to hold back their true passion for pure,
unrelenting, 100% rock and roll.
Their sophomore album, 2008’s “Death By Envy” is a testament to Money Money’s
discovery of their true identity as a band. The over-polished, pristine
production of 2005’s “We Are Money Money” has been abolished in favour of
screeching feedback and an impenetrable wall of guitar noise. The album was
recorded in a mostly live-off-the-floor style in order to capture the intensity
of the band’s live performances and help lay the foundation for raw, gritty, yet
tasteful production with not a single pick-scratch omitted.
With its strict “return-to-roots” approach to production, it is no wonder that
“Death By Envy” features the bands most honest and contemplative songwriting to date.
After four years spent steeped in the fascinating and often infuriating world of the music
business, Money Money had their eyes opened up to the tribulations of a hard working band
on the move. In songs like “Norwegian Sun” and “No Use For The Navy” the listener is
transported across the pond to the roads of Europe on a tour that was as harsh and lowdown
as the melodies that would later describe it. Just a few tracks later, slower rock ballads
like “Fingerprints” and “I Am Your Lion” reflect on the nuances of the self and one’s own
identity while demonstrating genuine personal growth among the musicians involved.
“Death By Envy” is truthful without being preachy. It’s brash without being belligerent.
It is simply a slice of life from the perspective of a rock and roll band struggling to find
their place in the world. Since 2005, Money Money has seen many hardships along their journey
that threatened to turn their dream into a nightmare. Through it all, Money Money has persevered
and recorded a record that reflects the band’s true identity as they see it at this stage in their
career. It is a testament, a confession, and a cautionary tale to every aspiring rock star plucking
away at his or her budget six-string in a basement somewhere in suburbia. The music may be gritty,
but the message is clear: Know Thy Self. Be honest about your art. Be honest about your band.
Don’t give a thought to the direction of the herd. Go your own way. That is the new message of
Money Money; a band that has gone the distance traveled by few, but envied by all, and this record
is a warning that sometimes envy can be the death of you.