Review Summary: A life left half behind, though no longer blind, I can't yet see. I'm not the boy that I once was, but I'm not the man I'll be.
Mewithoutyou is a very unique band in the post-hardcore genre with one of the most poetic vocalist, Aaron Weiss. His wonderfully creative Christian influenced lyrics flow perfectly over the music with gorgeous expressions of emotion. This album is mostly about losing the love of his life and the passion and pain in his vocals at some points can be heartbreaking. Anyone who can relate or enjoy this emotion will really like this album. If you think it’s whiny or you can’t stand to hear him whine about a girl then you will hate it. The music on this album is a perfect blend of indie-rock and post-hardcore creating both heavy and gentle soundscapes. The guitars create very distinctive lead and rhythms parts that give each song a signature feel. So if you can dig the sound they create you will find 12 tracks of individual emotional glory.
The album starts with some ambient muted guitar strumming that is ‘Bullet To Binary’ which quickly turns into a heavy hitting rock n’ roll song. That is until the passionate ending where Weiss cries out “Taste me, I'm like poison on your tongue, But when you're tired, If you're quiet, You'll hear me singing you to sleep” as the guitars churn out melodic guitar leads that give the part a heavy dose of epic melancholy. Parts like this are sprinkled all throughout the record, where Aaron pours his heart out with poetic lyricism while the guitars play epic emotionally charged melodic riffs as the drums and bass pummel beneath.
As a band Mewithoutyou are very tight and no instrument fails to do its job perfectly. The brilliant music is tied together in a perfect bow by Aaron’s well-crafted vocals and lyrics; they fit the music perfectly. There are plenty of parts on this record that are borderline hardcore territory with heavy riffs and drums, while Aaron screams in angst above; it is obvious that hardcore lies at the root of this band. At the same time they have a soft spot for restrained beauty; expressed through gentle clean guitars and softly sung vocals. This comes to play at ‘Everything Was Beauty and Nothing Hurt’. It begins with soothing but melancholy guitar strumming while Aaron repeats the line ‘If only you call for me, if only you die for me, saw you burn for me, if only you call for me’. This track seems to show Aaron’s devotion to his faith. Swelling delayed guitar riffs begin to build as the track begins to make a dynamic shift where all the instruments gather momentum as Aaron begins to scream in the background with heavy vocal distortion that makes the lyrics hardly decipherable.
‘Gentlemen’ starts in an angry mess of distorted guitar riffs as the bass plays a steady pulsing rhythm below. Then Aaron’s vocals come in and he tells a story of getting into a fight with his girl. He ends up walking out on her only to change his mind and wanders back praying that she’s alone. It’s one of the many highlights on the album and one of the most aggressive, there is so much anger fueling the track that comes alive with the waltzing rhythm section. The biggest standout track on the album is ‘Silencer’; you can tell it’s the ‘big’ single on the album as soon as the very catchy guitar line begins. It has a very catchy chorus where the band sings in a very sailor-esque sounding ‘wo oh oh oh’ in a low vocal range before Aaron returns in the verses.
The album ends with the epic closer ‘The Cure For Pain Is Pain’; it is my favorite song on the album. It starts with a pretty sounding guitar line that quickly falls into a minor key hard strummed dirge. The lyrics for the song are very hopeless sounding “The cure for pain is in the pain, so it's there that you'll find me. Until again I forget, and again he reminds me”. Things stay at a similar pace until the sadly melodic bridge begins and leads the song into the beautiful ebb and flow of the epic outro, where Aaron sings “Darling let your self pour down and dissolve into the Love who revealed himself there quietly to me.” The guitars take over from there and lead us on out while out giving us everything they got, they don’t go down without a fight.
Mewithoutyou is at their heaviest and most raw on this album. Later on the band became calmer and more refined as Aaron began to mature as a person and lost the angst that is very present on this album. There is definitely not a bad moment on this album, each song gives you nice doses of beauty. The two filler tracks ‘(A)’ and ‘(B)’ are very gorgeous and haunting, drenched with strange guitar effects and give you a quick break in between the 1st and 2nd half of the album. While the album does sometimes have sad subject matter the music is catchy and sometimes fun as in tracks ‘The Ghost’ and ‘We Know Who are Enemies Are’. To me this album is timeless and has got me personally through difficult periods in my life.