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Monday, April 13, 2015

mewithoutYou -- Brother, Sister

 photo 220px-Mewithoutyou_brothersister_cover_zpsqy7vrnhx.jpg

Well, here's a surprise. In the fall of 2006, I was in an interesting place. I was about to get married, freaking out heavily. Meanwhile, all those freshman who had come in at LSU in fall of 2004 (my last semester), all those kids who had latched on to Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety, were moving on to something else. Turns out the new Underoath album for 2006 was too damn heavy for them, and they didn't like heavy anymore, anyway. Time for them to find a new band. Time for them to hop on the mewithoutYou bandwagon. 
In reality, this migration began before 2006. It began on mewithoutYou's Catch for Us the Foxes tour, when suddenly I was mashed up against these young punks (and I don't mean punk-rockers!), who acted like they were too cool to remember your name. So anyway, by the fall of 2006, mewithoutYou was poised to breakout, or at least breakout as much as a band of this nature can. So by the fall of 2006, mewithoutYou no longer felt like my band.
To make matters worse, this video popped up on Youtube, mewithoutYou playing at Cornerstone, where I had seen them four years before they were big, when they were new, and they were exciting, and all the kids in this 2006 crowd, watching the band's set de-evolve into some hippy-dippy group-hugging hippy dance, were still in high school, listening to N'Sync.

My future (and now nearly for nine years) wife thought the video was awesome and loved Brother, Sister right when it was released, but let's face it, she's five years younger than me, which essentially makes her a generational stranger. She had an e-mail account in like elementary school.

Well, Brother, Sister came out on September 26, 2006, and my fiancee and I picked it up from FYE or Best Buy or some damn place and listened to it in the car and she loved it and I thought it was okay, not as good as Catch for Us the Foxes, and it didn't have all the lovely little outros that all of Catch for Us the Foxes did.
End of story.
But then, almost nine years later, I listened to every mewithoutYou album chronologically (multiple times) for this review series, and they were all pretty good, except for the fourth one, and Catch for Us the Foxes was really, really good, and I already gave that one a ten, but how has this happened(?), Brother, Sister is even better. Turns out, removed from a new apartment with all my cool stuff packed out of sight and girl clothes everywhere, and me not realizing being in a relationship can be as fun as being single, and all those damned hipsters who only liked mewithoutYou for the three months after Brother, Sister came out, Brother, Sister is the greatest achievement in mewithoutYou's five album career.
I listened to Brother. Sister on the way to work, and I was excited by every track, even the stupid "Spider" interludes, and emotional at the end...and singing along at the end with my eyes closed and tearing up and not existing. Everything about Aaron Weiss's journey from being a damn mess, to giving up his mess to God and simply no longer being, hit all the write notes, and his band's experiments with straight-up-rock, dub, punk and ...folk all work and work and work. And dammit, now I'm listening to that video above and the damn blender at Starbucks is in exact pitch and key with "In a Sweater Poorly Knit" and I give up, God, take it.

This review brought to you by angry old man enterprises, at

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Hey, now that he's done, I'd like to make some comments, as well. Well, really only one, as that old dude above somehow touched upon almost everything in his rambling, anti-diabtribe. What I'd like to say is, on top of how awesome this album flows, creates tension, releases it, is awesome, I really dig its sonic textures. I like how the darker moments, like the trumpet hits before the second verse in "C-Minor," remind me of a scary old art-deco office at night, and the harp parts, for example, the ones at the end of the album, remind me of fairy tales when I was a kid, and you could look out the window at the pale, welcoming moon, and climb a tree and be there, and watch the cow soar over your head.

2006 Tooth & Nail Records
1. Messes of Men 3:52
2. The Dryness and the Rain (guest vocals by Jeremy Enigk) 2:57
3. Wolf Am I! (and Shadow) 2:36
4. Yellow Spider 1:10
5. A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains 3:45
6. Nice and Blue (Pt. Two) 3:43
7. The Sun and the Moon 5:15
8. Orange Spider 1:10
9. C-Minor 3:21
10. In a Market Dimly Lit 4:27
11. O, Porcupine (Guest vocals by Jeremy Enigk) 4:31
12. Brownish Spider (featuring guest harpist Timbre) 1:19
13. In a Sweater Poorly Knit (featuring guest harpist Timbre) 5:26

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