New York City's Haywood debuted their gritty indie rock sound with 1998's Model for a Monument on Mag Wheel Records. The disc was a compilation of the band's earliest recordings. The disc begins with "Crosswords," with its steady guitar line carrying the song's momentum throughout. The instrumentation gets increasingly abrasive as the song continues. Ted Pauly's offbeat vocals are charming on the song, reminiscent of John King of Spent. The second track, "Trophy Case," is a clean instrumental. The frantic pace of "You're Crazy" is eerily similar to Superchunk-style indie punk. On "My Self-Empowerment Song," the band returns to ballad pace, with sincere and tender vocals melding with intricate guitar lines. Blazing guitars kick off "Nerf Dreams." On "Just Like Moths," the band's lo-fi acoustic rock in the vein of Ohio's Moviola eventually evolves into an up-and-down rocker. "Turning Into Giants" closes the disc with rhythmic chords and playful vocals. "Trash Park" and "Nerf Dreams" were produced by Rob Christiansen in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1992. Most of the other songs were recorded in Philadelphia in 1993, while the rest were recorded in 1996. Joey Sweeney of the Trouble With Sweeney is featured on vocals on "Nothing Happens." Some of the songs were previously released on singles and compilations. Five of the dozen tracks were previously unreleased.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer