Sunday, 24 June 2012

Review: Make Do and Mend - Everything You Ever Loved

 It's refreshing to see in a time where record labels cast a sense of tyranny over the world of rock music that puts bands out of their comfort zone and causes them to lose hope (Apart from in the case of Roadrunner, which is just sad) that so many bands, particularly of the punk variety are taking the matters of promotion and the like into their own hands. Following the release of 2010's End Measured Mile, Hartford quartet Make Do and Mend were viewed as the possible heroes of the new generation of DIY-punk rock bands.

 The group's latest offering Everything You Ever Loved sees a change in terms of overall style and ethics. There will be the people that dislike the fact that the band have lost their jagged venom and more hardcore influenced edge and will cast a shadow of bitter cynicism over the bands efforts and brand them as sell-outs. One can only hope that others will note their change to a more wholesome and soulful brand of punk music that the likes of The Menzingers and Hot Water Music have already carried so gracefully this year sees the band music still being as intense a listen as ever only this time they effortlessly release an inner intensity that creeps into the skin of listeners with a sweet life affirming quality.

 So with their love of hardcore groups put to the side and an influence from such power pop titans as Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday playing the greater role on Everything You Ever Loved there is a much greater level of heart in the band's performance. From the melancholic buildup that takes place on opener Blur the vocal performance of James Carroll reveals the opening to an album that his band has clearly put everything into.

 This stems down to the fact that a mass level of positivity exists in all the songwriting styles achieved across the set of eleven songs as everything can be heard with the highest possible quality. When the band want to upbeat, maximum levels of energy and unrelenting ecstasy is put into the likes of Count and  Lucky, which both display hooks of mass power that can only light up the crowds at gigs. And when the band want to be more mellow, the levels of grace heard on Drown On It the intimate performance of Hide Away reach a maximum level, releasing an overwhelming level of power in the subtlest of manners.

 The overall impact of Everything You Ever Loved effortlessly reveals the amount of passion and depth the band have put into their songwriting as subtle textures in guitars reveals a hidden intimacy of their music that allows for new listening experiences with each return to each song and the roughened production means Make Do and Mend obtain their battered soundscape while the overall levels of passion and detailed songwriting reveals a new kind of shine. 

 It is then, with a new approach to writing songs and a difference in overall songwriting influence that Make Do and Mend return with a higher level of brimming strength and melodic grace than ever with Everything You Ever Loved. The band's powerful sense of urgency and concern throughout the album clearly reveals the levels of care and meaning they have with their songs. And with a greater emphasis on making songs with immersive hooks and detailed soundscapes, they effectively separate themselves from the rest of "The Wave" of similar sounding DIY punk bands. Perhaps it's with this independence in how to craft songs and drive to make songs with true beauty and soul that makes them kings of this scene adn the kind of band most worthy of major recognition.

Make Do and Mend's Everything You Ever Loved is out now via Rise.

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