mewithoutYou
Catch For Us The Foxes


5.0
classic

Review

by ohhhcomely USER (2 Reviews)
November 18th, 2008 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Clever words on pages turn to fragments, circles, points, and lines/and they cover them like carpets with graceful, meaningless, ornamental designs.

It is extremely rare for a band to grab me with a strong grip and refuse to let go. Bands like Circle Takes the Square and Opeth have, as has dredg’s "El Cielo" and Jeff Buckley’s "Grace". However, that was years ago. It’s been a while since a band has really stuck to me like those bands did. Sure, I’ve listened to and enjoyed plenty of music, but none of them really had enough to keep me interested for so long like the aforementioned bands did. However, recently, I found mewithoutYou’s "Brother, Sister", and later "A→B: Life", and finally Catch For Us the Foxes.

The first thing that jumps out about mewithoutYou is lead vocalist Aaron Weiss’s vocal style. Unfortunately this will turn off many mainstream rock listeners (which is most teenagers and young adults, a bulk of the people who would listen to this kind of music), but with a little patience, it is easy to appreciate Weiss’s delivery. He screams and yells and shouts (and sings, too)--all in the first track, Torches Together (not so much the singing, but he does sing quite a bit on this album). He’s passionate and screams and yells in a song’s climax or chorus; he talks and shouts at appropriate times; and he even sings in a moment that calls for a more melodic delivery. The vocal performances by not only Weiss but also by the backing vocalists are also extremely effective. Apart from him, the backing vocalists, guitarist Michael Weiss and bassist Greg Jehanian, bring an extra feel into certain songs. The final verse of Paper Hanger features Weiss and his backups singing the same lyrics in almost contrasting tones--Weiss in his passionate yelling and the others in a more laid back and relaxed vocal style--creates a tremendous moment; the backing vocals in January 1979 provide an effective and powerful chorus.

The album’s biggest strength, if Weiss’s vocals aren’t it, is its lyrics. Though the band’s members are Christian, that doesn’t make their lyrics any weaker; if anything, it makes them stronger. Weiss’s faith and desire to share it, in Four Word Letter, inspires:

Oh, doubters, let's go down to the river to pray
“Oh, but I'm so small I can barely be seen
How can this great love be inside of me?”
Well, look at your eyes; they're small in size, but they see enormous things


He’s not preachy or repetitive about his faith; he sprinkles in “Lord” and “God” in some songs once in a while and makes that song more poetic and personal. Not all the strong lyrics revolve around Christianity, however. On My Exit, Unfair, he paints a gloomy and depressing personal picture in the chorus:

Oh, the clouds, they brought a darkness, and a hard rain's gonna fall
And all my laughter ends in emptiness, and a hard rain's gonna fall
My every medicine causes more illness, and a hard rain's gonna fall
And until I let you go, I didn't know you were never mine, you were never mine at all


Not the entire band rides on Weiss’s lyrics and vocal delivery. Each member holds his own playing his instrument; Tie Me Up! Untie Me!’s foundation is in the drumming and builds nicely from there; Disaster Tourism builds on a droning guitar riff and also builds nicely from there; Leaf and Soviet have some nice bass licks. Throughout the album there is solid and creative drumming and good guitar and bass riffs. However, with Weiss’s dominating and passionate performance in every single song, everything else seems to take a backseat and not much else really matters besides him.

The album’s songs ride on different strengths. A song like Four Word Letter has its lyrics as its strongest point; a song like January 1979 is dominated vocally; a song like Tie Me Up! Untie Me! has its foundations in the drumming and is built from there; Carousels features spoken verses and emotional, towering singing in the chorus; songs like Seven Sisters, The Soviet, and My Exit, Unfair combine all these things, and create an incredible atmosphere as a result, to make the best songs on the album. Each song has that moment when everything comes perfectly together. I can list each one but that would be pointless since putting it in words is nothing like hearing it. Maybe the entire climax is the moment in The Soviet when the band incorporates either a cello or violin and incredible effects while Weiss moans “So turn your ears, you musicians, to silence, ‘cause they only come out when it’s quiet/Oh, wake up, sleepers, and rise from the dead/or the fur that they shed is gonna lay on your bed in a delicate orange, a cinnamon red”; maybe it’s the entire song; maybe it’s the entire heart of the album (from Seven Sisters to My Exit, Unfair); I’m not sure. This album’s a grower, for sure; I first thought this was not as good as Brother, Sister or even their raw, harder A→B: Life. However, having listened to it carefully, I realize this is probably their best album. Brother, Sister is lighter and A→B: Life is rawer; Catch For Us the Foxes is perfect.


user ratings (1004)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (5)
    mewithoutYou's (second) best LP could be post-hardcore's finest ever! The album of 200(4)!...

    Tyler (4)
    mewithoutYou creates a simple, happy, but polarizing album. While not as good as Brother, ...

    Aaron (5)
    My life's a cup of sugar I borrowed before time began and forgot to return....

    Kiran EMERITUS (4)
    Combining the aggressive elements of A to B: Life with the atmospheric Brother, Sister, th...

  • BlindGuy1012 (5)
    mewithoutYou is a band that is well, kind of strange and just a little bit different. They...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ohhhcomely
November 18th 2008


175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

woo first review. I liked the other reviews but I wanted to review it so yeah. Advice and stuff is appreciated This Message Edited On 11.18.08

marksellsuswallets
November 18th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bolding is a little distracting...and whats up with the random symbols?

ohhhcomely
November 18th 2008


175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not sure...I think those are the m-dashes I did on Word.

whatever I fixed those.This Message Edited On 11.18.08

jimay333
November 18th 2008


433 Comments


Yep.

NOTINTHEFACE
November 18th 2008


1653 Comments


Can someone please explain to me why I shouldn't think the vocals for this band aren't complete and utter trash? I can listen to Varg wail tonelessly, or death growls, or raspy whispers in Agalloch, but what on earth is the appeal of this rubbish? Based on the four songs I listened to, I'm having to assume that they grow on you somehow. But I really can't abide the vocals right now.

fireaboveicebelow
November 19th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they're better than Varg, but still pretty cringy

NOTINTHEFACE
November 19th 2008


1653 Comments


At least Varg has some interesting music behind him. I'm not saying the music is bad, it's interesting to say the least. But the vocals totally throw the whole thing off for me.

PatchworkNeurology
November 19th 2008


352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great cd, for me this cd is their transition to the "Brother, Sister" sound they have now from the A-->B Life post-hardcore style.

This band makes my day.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If I could get into "My Exit Unfair" and "The Soviet" more I could see this being better than AB Life.

marksellsuswallets
November 19th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My thoughts exactly señor Hanson...Son of a Widow is also a little meh to me too...

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The last half of it redeems it for me. It's sort of underwhelming after Carousels which has REALLY grown on me but eh.
I think every track on the other two albums is perfect so.

marksellsuswallets
November 19th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Carousels had to grow on you? weird...

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It makes sense to me now how they placed it after Four Word Letter, but for a while it was just like how do they go from that song to Carousels.

marksellsuswallets
November 19th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah...well that makes more sense I suppose...that was kind of the main reason I liked Carousels in the first place though haha...

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It and Son of a Widow is just a weird way to end the album for me I guess.

cbmartinez
November 19th 2008


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

son of a widow is a weak closer and the soviet took me a WHILE to get into but now i love it, the pulsing bassline works beautifully with the drums. my exit unfair is absolutely breathaking, don't see how you're missing that one.

again for the 100th time, ive been listening to mwy for a while and i just feel like this album is their best and one of the most perfectly crafted albums of all time. everything works, the dual guitar work beautifully swells and complements, the rhythm section is perfect, not too flashy but offering some captivating beats, the production captures the moods of all the instruments perfectly, weiss vocals are painfully emotional at points and intimate and touching at others. every song gives me chills.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is the first album i heard by mwy back in the day, and not to like put it down but it definitely turned me off from really listening to them. after actually taking the time earlier this year to get into them, I just think its very much a transition album.
some of the songs are just amazing though.

cbmartinez
November 19th 2008


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ahh interesting. its the opposite it for me. i bought this at best buy without ever hearing a song by them and it was one of the best blind buys i ever made, nothing theyve done has ever lived up to the way this album affected me, particularly spiritually and emotionally at that time in my life.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I can dig that. I suppose at the time I heard this album I was more into stupid shit like coheed and the fall of troy (guess which tour i bought this at haha) so I didn't really have an ear for the more subtle nature of mwy.
weiss' last line in carousels is probably the best line he has ever written though

cbmartinez
November 19th 2008


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the chorus of carousels just rocks me, weiss is so brutally honest with those lyrics

it's strange, during high school I was pretty into christianity and such, nowadays not at all. however, this album really invoked a strong spiritual feeling in me and despite my secularism today, this album always has had a special feeling because i think it really conveys this inspiring religious and spiritual vibe. even if i cant dig on the concepts as much today, these men have really created a beautiful vessel for worship of what they believe in and I respect that and the feelings it once inspired in me



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