Geology
North


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matt Harrison CONTRIBUTOR (20 Reviews)
August 1st, 2013 | 31 replies | 5,155 views


Release Date: 07/30/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: mewithoutYou's unsung hero.

Let me first just acknowledge the fact that we've reached the point where Aaron Weiss is going to be mentioned in any album review of an artist affiliated with mewithoutYou. Whether it be a similar band or a band member's outside work -- as is the case of bassist Greg Jehanian's side project Geology -- Aaron will be used to validate its merit. It's inescapable, really; his quirky charisma and utterly brilliant lyricism are too much a highlight of mewithoutYou to be disregarded. And Jehanian knows it too. Why else would he croon, "I have no voice" over and over again in "G Minor" if not to express his helpless frustration in being trampled over by Aaron's jerking, puppet-like dance moves and vivacious vocals? Okay, that may have been an exaggeration; you and I both know if he was any less egotistical he'd be claiming his lyrics were more borrowed than the parables he takes their inspiration from. However, after listening to Jehanian's third release, North, you may be surprised to find that apart from Aaron's unmistakable imprint on the band's sound, mewithoutYou's brilliance may be more attributed to Jehanian than anyone else.

Though perhaps it isn't so surprising. Just consider his bass work in mewithoutYou for a moment. Songs such as "A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains" on Brother, Sister and "Cardiff Giant" on Ten Stories showed some truly creative musicianship, and while it could be that one of the guitarists simply wrote it, judging by the talent displayed on North, it's more likely he wrote his own bass lines and perhaps even much of mewithoutYou's song structure in general. And if it seems like I'm speaking far too much about mewithoutYou and not enough about Geology, just bare with me. There is a point to this.

See, it's actually quite remarkable just how different North sounds from his main project, and that only truly stands out when side by side with it. It may seem an odd comparison, but North's closest cousin, sonically speaking, would have to be The Photo Album by Death Cab For Cutie. Songs like "On The Blue" and "The Mountains And The Sea" have the same driving guitar as The Photo Album's "A Movie Script Ending" and "I Was A Kaleidoscope," and hell, even Jehanian sounds eerily like Ben Gibbard.

So in a way it's kind of a shame North wasn't his first release. The improvement from his last two EPs to the latest is so great that his obvious talent would have made significant waves had North been released first. Even so, it's great to see an artist improving with each work in the midst of so many artists who's quality dwindles off after the first or second album. And if there are any criticisms to be made -- and none of which are momentous -- it's that the production isn't the greatest. There are some moments where I couldn't help but wish certain instruments were louder or his voice softer, but these really don't take away from the songs' overall effect -- and for self-producing at home, the sound quality is still quite impressive.

If North is any indication of Jehanian's future, it's that his work deserves the same anticipation a mewithoutYou album does. And while it may lack the infectious charm and delightful wit of Aaron Weiss, it still displays an artist whose work, while perhaps not completely groundbreaking, stands up with the best indie bands out there.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I give up trying to get this album art to show up.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Here's a link to his bandcamp too. http://geology.bandcamp.com/album/north-ep

Arnaud
August 1st 2013


183 Comments


Pretty well written buddy, pos'd! but for someone like me who's not really aware of mewithoutYou other
than one album and a couple songs, I have, upon read, barely any indication of what's North or how it
sounds

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea, I thought that might be a problem. This is the way it flowed out for me, but I guess i should have backed it up more with
talking about the music specifically

larrytheslug
August 1st 2013


1315 Comments


you can see the mwY influence right in the song titles!

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

finally the artwork comes in. Also, "A Morning Dream" is totally "Grist for the Malady Mill" off of Ten Stories.

larrytheslug
August 1st 2013


1315 Comments


yah. i think alot of these songs sound like mwY stuff...the chord progressions, some lyrics..

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

some lyrics for sure. The style is closer to Ten Stories than anything, but I hesitate to say it sounds much like mewithoutYou only because Aaron makes it so distinct.

larrytheslug
August 1st 2013


1315 Comments


certainly. lemme pos by the way ;)

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks! It's not my best work, but I feel I worded what I wanted to say effectively enough.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 1st 2013


10190 Comments


Hey, nice review (and feature!)

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks! I really didn't expect a feature, but I'll take it haha.

Veldin
August 1st 2013


1191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmm, this is quite an intriguing review, being as I'm a huge fan of mwy. I'll defiantly be checking this out.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 1st 2013


10190 Comments


Omg that avatar.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow, just now noticed that avatar. So when are they going to make half-life 3?

Eko
August 2nd 2013


2119 Comments


so this is better than his other EPs?

heyadam
August 2nd 2013


1710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review! Just got this the other day, and I'm loving it.

Veldin
August 2nd 2013


1191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

half life 3 is coming out in 2036.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2013


1664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Eko: A lot better

@Veldin: that's pretty optimistic

Irving
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2013


7264 Comments


I think Veldin's avatar has stolen all the thunder out of this review haha. That being said it (the review), still rocks. Well done.

And yes, pun intended.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence



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