Tuesday, July 3, 2012

'Everything You Ever Loved' by Make Do and Mend

Sometimes it's good to go into something without expectations.  Not only will you be free of any preconceived notions, but it can cause an excitement that you weren't looking for or even intending to find.  I'd never heard of Make Do and Mend or their music before Everything You Ever Loved.  I had no idea what to expect.  What I got was a charged, energetic, and emotional album that was more enjoyable than I could have imagined.

Wikipedia lists Make Do and Mend as a "post-hardcore" band.  Now, I don't really know what that means, but in my head "hardcore" equates with heavy guitar riffs and a good deal of screaming.  While you get some of this with Everything You Ever Loved, to define the album or band by this criteria would be not only foolish, but wrong.  Opener "Blur" starts slowly before exploding into a face-paced rock song.  "Disassemble" is single-ready, just waiting to take over airwaves with its steady drum beat and belted-out chorus.  The third track, "Count", keeps the momentum going.  The variety on the album, though, really shines through.  "Desert Lily", the album's closer, is noticeably slower but is far from lethargic.  Most of the other tracks find their place somewhere in between, with quiet moments punctuated with enough excitement that you could blast the album with your windows down or listen to it through some headphones while lounging on your couch.

That's good, because you'll want to listen to Everything You Ever Loved a lot.  These aren't stereotypical rock-ready lyrics, sung over music in the hopes that you won't notice how generic they are.  Take "Stay in the Sun", with lines like "You can click your heels until you wear holes in the floor/And realize that no place feels like home anymore."  Or "St. Anne"'s "I've Seen pictures of you then/Like the patron saint of everything I lack."  I chose those two songs for sticking out the most to me, but I really could have chosen any two tracks at random and picked out at least one line from each that resonated with me, that really had an impact, that called for immediate playback because I didn't want to wait until the end of the song to hear it again.

I'm not sure how many times I've listened to Everything You Ever Loved.  I count that as a good thing.  I do know that I'll keep listening to it for as long as I'm able to pick out new favorite lines and songs and notice things I hadn't before that I really connect with.  And that means I'll be listening to Make Do and Mend for a long, long time to come.


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