Review: mewithoutYou — [Unititled]

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, October 11th, 2018 at 8:43 AM
Review: mewithoutYou — [Unititled] by Livia Homerski

★★★★

MewithoutYou is one of the sickest Christian rock bands out there. They released “[Untitled]” on Oct. 5 and continue to put out their unique storytelling and signature sound out in a way only they can. mewithoutYou refreshingly combines their signature biblical and historical allusions with heavy-post rock elements thanks to the production of famed indie-rock and post-hardcore producer Will Yip, who previously worked with mewithoutYou on 2015 release “Pale Horses.”

“9:27a.m., 7/29” is my favorite song on the record. There’s an unstoppable energy barrelling through the song and it sets the album off on a great and exciting foot. This song could make me stomp at 9:27 a.m., no problem. 

“Julia (or, Holy to the LORD’ on the Bells of Horses)” slowly gallops but builds speed towards the guitar solo. There is nothing incredibly revolutionary done in the chorus and verses, but those are also the most likable and familiar parts of the song. This song also has a cohesive religious narrative about the struggle of accepting faith and God while also being aware of some fallout which religion can create. 

Track “[doormouse]” continues that powerful stomping beat and the music continues to embody the mewithoutYou cadence, but the lyrics are incredibly dense but uninhibited. They push their wordplay and love for storytelling, but the two are tipping out of balance and the message becomes cryptic. The many annotations on Genius.com helped me piece together snapshots of people’s stories interwoven, both biblical and of popular culture. Figures such as singer-songwriter Josephine Foster, and even WWF Star Nikolai Volkov chime in to tell a narrative I’m not sure I’m following all the way. Perhaps I’m not paying enough attention or perhaps the meaning will someday hit me after I learn more about people and read more of the bible. This track is intriguing and I wish I understood it.

As for the midsection of this album, there is an overlap in the songs’ structures. The poeticism remains throughout the lyrics, and it’s truly up to the listener to decipher the imagery and allusions.

“Winter Solstice” kicks back a little, offering instead a melodic post-rock hook that people could easily sing along to. The bridge going into the ending digresses and edges things up.

“Flee, Thou Matadors” behaves similarly, with the second half of the bridge consumed by a guitar solo and instrumental build up before coming back around.

“Tortoises All the Way Down” is one of the more clean-toned songs on the album until the brief and explosive last minute of the song. 

There’s a pattern of having more relaxed verses, chorus, dark and intense bridge. It’s not a bad thing, but repetitive after a while, even if the music is quite different. Thankfully, there is a tasteful break of the pattern with the track “2459 Miles.” With this being number eight on the record, serves as a resting point before the rest of the album.

“New Wine, New Skins” takes to some classic post-hardcore chord tropes but it was well needed. The movement of the guitar progressions, from the reverberating finger-picked chords to the jerky riffs weaving with Weiss’s shaking vocals, there is some unique work done, especially through the variation on those riffs.

mewithoutYou echoes Brand New’s “Daisy” quite literally through the instrumentation. Comparisons can be made on the track “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore” through the screamed reverb heavy vocals as well as through the guitars and buildup to the clashing and shredded bridge. In the wake of the now disgraced but once-beloved band, mewithoutYou’s taking on of this sound is appreciated. Without a doubt, Will Yip’s influence helped produce this sound as well, he specializes in building and balancing clean and unclean sounds.

 I certainly don’t feel ready to rate this album, but I do feel that this album will be in my rotation quite a bit this fall. “[Untitled]” has just the right amount of thoughtful poetry and history to reign in the angst and instead drive the music with passion. I do wish the lyrics were a little less cryptic, but they reveal themselves as time goes on.

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