Make Do and Mend "We're All Just Living" CDPosted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 @ 6:24am » permalink
"We're All Just Living" is the debut six-song EP from Connecticut's Make Do and Mend on Restless Minds Records, and to be totally honest with you it took me a little while to totally make up my mind on this one, but I'm really glad I stuck with it. I knew right off the bat from the first listen that there were a lot of things about this band that I liked, and that for the most part this should totally be right up my alley, but there are little bits and pieces about the recording that were kind of getting to me here and there – specifically with the way that the vocals were sometimes feeling a little too plain and "pasted in" or up front, which was distracting me. But I got past that because the songwriting is fucking great (and because the "problematic" areas – many of which happen to fall near the start of opener "Bitter Work", which probably has something to do with my initial confusion – are minimally located throughout the disc in the long run), so when everything falls into place these guys are really fucking onto something here. It's just a good ol' mix of honest, heartfelt emo/indie rock with subtle tinges of pop-punk and that kind of thing, complete with loads of catchy hooks and melodies that's not without musical/lyrical value. There are plenty of killer roving basslines and a lot of dual guitar interaction, tons of promising multi-vocal layering, etc. You can tell there's a wide range of influences at work that's rooted in the more respected 90's era of this sound, but without particularly sounding like a throwback to that time period or anything. I don't know, what can I say? The energy's absolutely there, and that's what always pays off in the end when it comes to these types of records, so… I'm very curious to see where this band will go next. Even minor polishing up could yield an amazing full-length from these guys, so I'll certainly be looking forward to more. Don't mind my nitpicky sentiments earlier, this is great work… and "Insomniac Jams" is a fucking five-star gem.