How does the old saying go? You wait for ages for a bus to come, and then two come at once. Well good news metaphorical bus fans, today the bus is mewithoutYou releases! The Philadelphia band have announced their seventh album [Untitled], and released a 7 track EP, called the [Untitled] EP.
So while we’ve got just over a month for the full album, there’s an EP to whet our appetites. On first listen, my first impression is one of surprise at how calm and low key the songs are. This is a band whose last album, Pale Horses, was full of venom-spitting riffs and throat chord tearing screams. A band who have just finished touring anniversary shows for their post-hardcore debut album. Where has the anger gone? And should we miss it?
I don’t think so. It makes sense in a way, that after spending so long expressing themselves with words of fury, the band would actively seek out the antithesis to that for a period. And don’t worry, we have been assured that the full [Untitled] album is a more typical mewithoutYou affair.
By this point in an EP review, I’m usually deep in to discussing each track in detail. But I don’t think I will today. Partly because I’ve had less than 24 hours with the EP and I’m still immersing myself in it, discovering new layers with every listen. And partly because the [Untitled] EP feels like the sort of release that will offer something different to every listener, a unique experience for all.
So I’ll stick to my experience, the general points to have struck me so far. I love the calm sound, it’s one we haven’t heard consistently from mewithoutYou for a long time, but one they actually do very well. Aaron Weiss’ intelligent lyrics dance from line to line just as pleasingly here as they do when backed by heavy instrumentation. It’s just a joy to hear his voice flicking out words and syllables in his unique style again.
This EP is a wonderful example of how versatile mewithoutYou are, how after eighteen years they are still capable of surprising us. Make no mistake, releasing the [Untitled] EP is an extremely bold step to take. It stands in defiance of almost everything the band have created to date. Will we ever see the band release a record like this again? I doubt it, but if you’re going to put out an EP that contrasts your life’s work, you might as well do it once, and do it well.
And just think. We get to do this all again in a month!