Review Summary: mewithoutYou's (second) best LP could be post-hardcore's finest ever! The album of 200(4)!
Music, to most people, is some sort of escapism. Whether it’s putting on an Elliott Smith CD when you’re feeling sad or listening to the happy care free styling of Blink 182 when things are just going your way. There will always be music we will find ourselves listening to in which we form little to no sort of personal bond towards. There is music in which we will put on solely for the sake of music. I personally have some sort of bond to all the music I listen to, albeit most of my connections are small, almost minuscule at times. But there are in most people’s lives, at least here on sputnik, albums in which we can find ourselves relating to so very strongly. Usually the albums in which people feel as though they are bonded to are the albums that are personal. Albums that show little restraint in subject matter, albums that know no boundaries; that show the more personal side of the artist. There are few albums in which I personally can feel such a connection to as mewithoutYou’s
sophomore outing Catch For Us The Foxes
Aaron Weiss: Vocals
Michael Weiss: Guitar
Christian Kleinberg: Guitar
Daniel Pishock – Bass guitar
Rickie Mazzotta – Drums
Catch For Us The Foxes was the second release by mewithoutYou, and with it we saw the first drastic change in the style in which mwY would become renowned for. With this release came a letup of sorts on the harsh vocals which dominated the entirety of [A--> B] Life. The lyrics also started to stray more from the quotable loss of a love to more pressing spiritual matters and personal demons within Aaron Weiss. But please do not be fooled by this description, for Catch For Us The Foxes still packs quite the punch. Whether it be the screaming chorus of Torches Together or the “Rock N Roll” ending to Paper Hanger, there is never a dull moment to be found anywhere in nearly 46 minutes.
Now the members of mewithoutYou do a perfect job to not only supplement the endless, stream-of-consciousness ramblings of Aaron Weiss but to create a vivid and memorable album. Guitarists Michael Weiss and Christian Kleinberg create some rather memorable riffs throughout the entire record. I remember the first time I heard the opening riff on My Exit, Unfair. I could not get that out of my head for weeks upon weeks. It is also obvious that Daniel Pishock knows his way around a bass. The bass lines are never hidden; quite to the contrary they are often the main focus during instrumental breaks. As I mentioned in previous mwY reviews, if it were not for Aaron Weiss drummer Rickie Mazzotta would be the most interesting and creative member of the band. The drums parts of every single song are always in interesting time signatures and it may be a little hard to keep up with the constant tempo changes that Mazzotta throws in nearly every song.
The album itself starts off with two of the more well known songs in mewithoutYou history, Torches Together and January 1979. (The latter being the birth month/year of both Aaron Weiss and Daniel Pishock) January 1979 is a great introduction to mwY if you have never heard any of their songs before. The song has everything that the band is known for, tight guitar playing, driving drum beats, a very prominent and meaningful bass-line and of course honest, articulate lyrics. The rest of the albums progresses in much of the same manner, with each song having its own little quirk that makes one fall in love with it. One of the more intriguing aspects of this cd is the fact that not only can you take each song and individually listen and still enjoy it, but when the entire album is listened to in order each song becomes so much stronger. There is a cohesiveness and thoroughness that is hard to be found on other records.
But the real crowning achievement on Catch For Us The Foxes is the second to last track, Carousels. The song starts off with a slow atmospheric guitar/bass part and Aaron literally talking about how he has struggled with the Christian faith. Now I consider myself to be fairly religious, but there is no way I am even close to the level that Aaron was on during the process of recording this album. He openly admits his struggles with the faith, ( On a bus ride into town I wondered, "Why am I going to town?" As I looked around at the billboards and the stores I thought, "Why do I look around?"
) something that even I find I don’t want to admit. But the most inspiring and jaw dropping-ly humble part of any mewithoutYou song I have ever listened too comes across during the last verse.
Oh Christ, when you're ready to come back
I think I'm ready for you to come back
But if you want to stay wherever exactly it is you are
That's okay too -
It's really none of my business
It’s so beautiful and just flat out amazing the humility that we see shine through with this lyric. This is Aarons ultimate profession of his faith (at the time) and it is something that should inspire everyone, in every walk of life. It doesn’t have to be limited to religion. Whatever aspect you are a part of, throw yourself into it, fully embrace, love, and most of all, respect what you are doing.
With Catch For Us The Foxes we see mewithoutYou further develop themselves as artist, not constricting themselves to one genre or to traditional song structures. We see a band that’s not afraid to tell the world exactly how they feel, giving the album such a personal feel that it’s really no surprise that mewithoutYou has received the devote following they have.