”]The Almost [photo by Azuree Norman] Tooth & Nail/Virgin Records (EMI) rock band The Almost have created a Monster.

Monster Monster is the five-piece rock group’s sophomore album, the follow-up to 2007’s Southern Weather, which scored a #7 Modern Rock single in “Say This Sooner,” a slot on MTV’s prestigious Discover & Download program and a quarter-million in sales after debuting in the Top 40 on the Billboard Top 200 with 29k+.

Formed by Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie along with guitarists Jay Vilardi and Dusty Redmon, bassist Alex Aponte and newest member, drummer Joe Musten, The Almost’s Monster Monster represents the culmination of two years of touring, with the resulting disc a melding of the group’s individual talents into a truly collaborative effort. Before the release, The Almost will release a new video to fans, which will be followed by their lead anthemic rock single “Hands.”

The album is slated for release on Nov. 3, but will be preceded by a Limited Edition special five-track EP entitled the Monster EP, featuring three album cuts and two B-sides. The EP will be available on Oct. 6 exclusively at Hot Topic stores, the band’s website, as well as on the band’s upcoming tour. The Monster EP will come in a special two-disc digi-pack, with a choice of five different covers. In an unprecedented new model for music delivery, EMI and Hot Topic will offer this Limited Edition EP packaging, which includes one disc with the EP’s music and a second blank CD with Monster Monster’s full-length artwork, lyrics and printed track listing on the physical CD, but no music. Fans will be able to download every song through a special promotional code on the day of actual physical release, Nov. 3, from ShockHound.com the MP3, merch and editorial site (http://www.ShockHound.com/ ), which is a division of Hot Topic, Inc. The version streeting on Nov. 3 will not include the special five-cover packaging or the Limited Edition EP.

“We feel strongly that physical retail is still viable and important. We are using the highly successful instant gratification model proven in the digital world but putting our own spin on it and bringing it to 681 Hot Topic stores,” says Randy Nichols, manager of The Almost.

During the tour, the band will make stops at select Hot Topic stores for exclusive in-store performances and signings.

Gillespie, who played all the instruments on The Almost’s first album, is thrilled the way the group began to mesh on Monster Monster, and the band itself is raring to go out and play the new songs for their rabid, loyal fan base.

“This now feels like a real band,” he says. “Everyone gave up a piece of his own agenda for the good of the final result. And that’s how you end up with something special. They supplied the bricks and we built this house together.”

The Almost begin their own headlining tour Sept. 23 at the State Theater in St. Petersburg, FL. through Oct. 6 at SOMA in San Diego, CA, with The Used jaunt beginning the very next day, Oct. 9, in Las Vegas.

“We plan on hitting it as hard as we can,” says Vilardi. “We’d like to leave and not come back for two years.”

Headlining Tour:
Sep 23          State Theatre           St. Petersburg, FL
Sep 24          Culture Room            Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Sep 25          The Venue               Gainesville, FL
Sep 26          Finlay Park             Columbia, SC
Sep 27          The 7 Venue             Douglasville, GA
Sep 29          Visulite Theatre        Charlotte, NC
Sep 30  ROCKETOWN               Nashville, TN
Oct 1           New Daisy Theatre       Memphis, TN
Oct 2             Bricktown Ballroom    Oklahoma City, OK
Oct 3           Zombie’s                San Antonio,TX
Oct 5           Club Congress          Tucson, AZ
Oct 6           Soma-Sidestage  San Diego, CA

Supporting The Used:
Oct 9             House of Blues                Las Vegas, NV
Oct  10 Salt Air Theatre                Magna, UT
Oct  11         The Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO
Oct  13 The Myth                        St. Paul, MN
Oct 14          Beaumont Club           Kansas City, MO
Oct 15          Riviera Theatre         Chicago, Il
Oct 17          The Fillmore-Detroit            Detroit, MI
Oct 18          Pageant                 St. Louis, MO
Oct 20          Kool Haus                       Toronto, ON
Oct 21          Metropolis                      Montreal, QC
Oct 23          House of Blues          Boston, MA
Oct 24          Crocodile Rock          Allentown, PA
Oct 25          Sonar                           Baltimore, MD
Oct 27          Roseland Ballroom               New York, NY
Oct 28          Electric Factory                Philadelphia, PA
Oct 30          House of Blues          Myrtle Beach SC
Oct 31          (orl)House of Blues             Lake Buena FL
Nov 1           The Tabernacle          Atlanta, GA
Nov 3           House of Blues          New Orleans, LA
Nov 5           House of Blues Dallas   Dallas, TX
Nov 6           House of Blues Houston  Houston, TX
Nov 7           La Zona Rosa                    Austin, TX
Nov 9           Marquee Theatre         Tempe, AZ
Nov 10          The Wiltern                     Los Angeles, CA
Nov 11          Warfield Thatre         San Francisco, CA
Nov 13          Showbox SoDo            Seattle, WA

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