AlbumsNovember 29, 201114,376 views

mewithoutYou Brother, Sister


01. Messes of Men 02. Dryness and the Rain 03. Wolf Am I! (And Shadow) 04. Yellow Spider 05. Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains 06. Nice and Blue, Pt. Two 07. Sun and the Moon 08. Orange Spider 09. C-Minor 10. In a Market Dimly Lit 11. O, Porcupine 12. Brownish Spider 13. In a Sweater Poorly Knit
2006 Tooth & Nail Records
Our score 9

10/2/2006

Throughout the last few weeks on our messageboard, members have been coming out of the woodwork and reluctantly saying, "this new mewithoutYou CD is really good," while I can only imagine muttering and staring at their shoes. It's not that mewithoutYou ever created anything but exceptional music; 2002's [A-->B] Life created a stir in the stereos of a few limited people aching for something truly different to listen to. While well-received in some circles, it was more than likely panned by just as many critics who were unable to digest the overdriven guitars and the meandering vocal patterns. As 2004 rolled through, however, the band began to win over skeptics with their second CD, Catch for Us the Foxes, and later subsequently won mtvU's "Left Field" award for "most original artist." Yet, even then, people have written the band off for their ties to Tooth & Nail and more importantly, the band's Christian faith. If you've followed the band over the last five years, you've undoubtably seen a clear-cut course of progression through their releases. Having always retained their distorted and reverberating guitars as well as vocalist Aaron Weiss' trademark almost arrhythmic rantings and outbursts, mewithoutYou began to favor a wider variety of instrumentation and more conventional song-structure on Catch for Us the Foxes. With a sense of unwavering integrity, they've continued along that very same course with a firm grasp to their individuality as a band. I'd like to apologize in advance for the length of this review, but sometimes it takes a lot of words before feeling like you've adequately covered something. Reviewing Brother, Sister, is a hard task aside from the inherent difficulties of describing something so authentic and innovative. With plenty of CDs you can write about the four tracks that stand out and discard the rest, but for mewithoutYou's latest, it's impossible to choose which songs to focus on as they're all of outstanding quality. That fact is an undeniable testament to the belief that this is truly a great album as that thought translates directly to the listener. There is nothing on this CD that you'll want to skip over and if you find yourself reaching to change the track, for one reason or another you won't have the heart to actually skip over it. Beginning with a somber keyboard and the sound of rain, the album opens with "Messes of Men." The poetic lyrics and voice of the band enters before launching into an full-sounding choir of folky acoustic guitars while a distant guitar plucks single echoing notes. The song has no defining verse/chorus structure and lightly swings back and forth before deteriorating into a pounding bassline and spaced-out guitar for a solid minute and a half before seamlessly extending into "The Dryness and the Rain." The song harks back to the band's previous material before erupting into a heavy, almost tribal, drumbeat complete with an ethnic-sounding chant for the chorus, giving the first real hints of the band's advancement. "Wolf Am I (And Shadow)" is the album's most direct and forceful track, with its focused riffing and frantic chorus, which makes me think of OK Computer-era Radiohead in a strange and roundabout way. Weiss rambles throughout the track with the perfect amount of haste underlying his voice, right down down to the second chorus where his voice strains and cracks before his near-maniacal yelling of, "one day, the water's gonna wash it away." The songs "Yellow Spider," "Orange Spider," and "Brownish Spider," go hand in hand and serve as a soft and fitting interlude, while songs like "Nice And Blue (Part 2)" and "O, Porcupine" (which features guest vocals from Sunny Day Real Estate's Jeremy Engik) provide a heavier sound to balance everything out. "In A Sweater Poorly Knit," undoubtably, is the biggest highlight of the band's career. Beginning with a Southwestern/Calexico feel for an intro and a lone acoustic guitar, Weiss sings alone before the entrance of soft and steady drums, echoing guitars, thumping bass, maracas, and even a harp. Although it's hard to describe music in written form, it's not impossible on a general level. However, attempting to further describe this song would be a fruitless and pointless endeavor; it's just something you have to hear for yourself. Bottom Line: I could have spent a large part of this review trying to convince someone to change whatever preconceived notions they have about the music or even lyrical content of mewithoutYou's songs. Rather than do that, what I would like to say is that if you have previously missed out on experiencing one of the more genuine and unique bands in recent years for the same reason many other people have, swallow your pride and pick up the CD on a whim. You'd be doing your ears a grave disservice to ignore yet another fantastic record from this Philadelphia five-piece. Without a single note of filler material, mewithoutYou have birthed 45 minutes of some of the most pure and intelligently composed music to obtain a wide audience in quite some time.

51 comments

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anonymous 10/2/2006 10:33:17 AM

good band


Yes sir_ 10/2/2006 10:36:40 AM

has lambgoat just done away with mp3s altogether?


anonymous 10/2/2006 10:37:50 AM

Having never heard this band before and reading that whole review, I still have no idea what they sound like.


Joel Bennett_ 10/2/2006 10:58:59 AM

Agree 100% with this review. definitely one of my favorite albums of the year thus far


bigego_ 10/2/2006 11:10:11 AM

word


xtroyx_ 10/2/2006 11:19:34 AM

i've been waiting for months. i'm so excited to hear.


Ron-dawg_ 10/2/2006 11:20:41 AM

have to agree with on this one, mr reviwer. damn good album


Rikethink_ 10/2/2006 11:27:18 AM

Excellent review. Sums up everything -- the band, the album, the reluctant or once reluctant ears (myself included) -- quite nicely. Well done...


Adam_Oshkosh_ 10/2/2006 11:51:58 AM

definitely one of the most beautiful & inspiring albums ive ever heard


jamie_ 10/2/2006 12:01:31 PM

thank you so much for reviewing this band


hotaction_ 10/2/2006 1:20:12 PM

mp3?????


diediedie_ 10/2/2006 2:39:51 PM

2000flushes is a bald male nurse that cleans up retarded kid's shits. He's a hick and plays table tennis as a hobby. Write a review about that.


chrisdrumsx_ 10/2/2006 2:48:56 PM

i thought you said this review was a 10/10 drew?


ipaintmycrimes_ 10/2/2006 3:40:05 PM

amazing cd, amazing band.


Cory_ 10/2/2006 5:33:56 PM

meh. also, this isn't metal, hardcore or anything close.


yourewakingup_ 10/2/2006 5:41:46 PM

amazing group of guys. amazing music. amazing band altogether. this cd is my top cd of 2006, no doubt


morgan_ 10/2/2006 5:57:13 PM

definately deserves a 10/10, easily in my top 5 of the year.


Urkelbot_ 10/2/2006 6:30:12 PM

cory, you're a f*cking dumbass, they started as a post hardcore band and lots of people on the board like them.. I think that's reason enough to review... remember when lambgoat reviewed bear vs shark? That's not metal or hardcore, but it's good and that's all that matter. Amazing cd, I 100% agree with this review, good work Drew.


Colin Oberst(Bright Eyes)_ 10/2/2006 6:32:09 PM

Yeah uh, this singer gay guy is totally jacking my style.


rich_ 10/2/2006 7:16:27 PM

this album is absolutely amazing


yourewakingup_ 10/2/2006 8:14:50 PM

Yeah uh, this singer gay guy is totally jacking my style. posted by Colin Oberst(Bright Eyes) () on 10/2/2006 6:32:09 PM fail on so many levels... you should be embarassed... i'm so mad i'm shaking for you


bolognapony_ 10/2/2006 9:47:56 PM

Generally, if you're looking to apologize for something in advance, you should do it first thing and not in the middle.


drew_ 10/2/2006 10:15:29 PM

i really meant "in advance" as in the way of like, not having to apologize after the review and seeing 10 TLNR comments


bigego_ 10/3/2006 12:24:07 AM

Yeah uh, this singer gay guy is totally jacking my style. posted by Colin Oberst(Bright Eyes) () on 10/2/2006 6:32:09 PM ----------------> you suck so hard. SO hard.


dutch_ 10/3/2006 1:05:01 AM

never thought i'd see this reviewed here, but i agree . . . this album is perfect. i'm not a christian, but i respect their faith and devotion and at times the christian lyrics almost seem whimsical. like when bands sing about satan, really.


JB_ 10/3/2006 1:10:28 AM

Great score. Amazing record. I'm so into this band.


falling_down_ 10/3/2006 2:49:26 AM

Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains -- wow man. that's deep.


anaturaldisaster_ 10/3/2006 2:56:20 AM

If this is more like the first one, I'll probably be happy with it. CFUTF was leaning a bit too close to indie/pop for my liking.


RalphWiggum_ 10/3/2006 7:29:35 AM

This cd is 10/10, as is Catch for us the Foxes. Why won't webmaster allow 10/10 ratings?


Zach_ 10/3/2006 8:10:42 AM

Whoa, incredible review. I really didn't expect this to come from Lambgoat. Very nice.


Jinzow Blowmack_ 10/3/2006 1:18:39 PM

Awesome awesome cd.


InvalidSacrifice_ 10/3/2006 1:32:56 PM

Boring drivel.


joeyxairborne_ 10/3/2006 5:00:39 PM

good band, great cd. guitarist used to be the bass player for I Hate You.


pig_destroyer_ 10/3/2006 5:44:21 PM

yea, how did a cd that got this glowing of a review still not get a 10? its a good cd, but i need to listen to it a few more times to really get it i guess. the first 4 songs kind of bored me. it definately got 100 times better towards the end. its one of the rare cds that does that


XBurningFightX_ 10/3/2006 7:37:12 PM

I can't believe so many people are sucking these guy's c-cks. f*ck this band and f*ck this review.


surfjam_ 10/3/2006 8:16:45 PM

first 2 realeases were alot better


snails_ 10/3/2006 10:10:44 PM

did not read that long ass review, but an mp3 would've helped


wilson_ 10/4/2006 7:46:36 AM

I've loved them since the beginning, and they didn't disappoint. Best album in a long time.


sloppy_ 10/5/2006 2:16:07 PM

i don't care what your roots are... this isn't metal or hardcore or post hardcore or post anything... it's shitty indie GOD pop modest mouse wannabe shit... let pitchfork revue this shit... i am officially done with lambgoat. goodnight.


lord_gold_ 10/5/2006 5:16:28 PM

shit band shit shit shit band


drew ailes_ 10/5/2006 8:39:22 PM

modest mouse shit? good riddance, you deaf c*nt


7oM_ 10/5/2006 11:46:27 PM

... Thursday much? It's like Thursday w/ a different singer.


onepartloss_ 10/6/2006 2:44:43 AM

Great album.


nylezbots_ 10/7/2006 12:56:09 PM

awesome band, nice review.


sean_ 10/8/2006 8:05:57 PM

Thursday? Nothing could be further from Thursday. Like seriously. You have to be f*cking retarded to think this sounds like Thursday.


vcreationv_ 10/9/2006 10:48:17 AM

amazing album


anonymous 11/15/2006 11:12:42 PM

Saw these dudes tonight. Amazing band, but f*ck scene girls.


anonymous 10/27/2007 4:27:48 PM

mewithoutyou is that band to listen to when you dont know what to listen to, just good stuff


KerBear_ 5/2/2008 12:57:14 PM

Superb album. Good guys. Saw these dudes at Cornerstone. Played a great set. These dudes are so devoted...I saw Aaron take a half-eaten hamburger from the trash. Thoses dudes spend all their money on their basic needs, charities, and helping out homeless folks. Serious.


Jarrod_ 2/15/2009 11:39:19 PM

good call chief.


hey_ 10/28/2011 11:25:14 PM

they're jewish and claim not to be a christian band.