on March 8, 2005
MewithoutYou is one of those bands that are almost impossible to describe through words. Usually I would resort to a standard objective review for Godcore's newest band of the month, but this time, I cannot help but bring my own personal subjectivity to the table. After all, MewithoutYou is too good for any other form of analysis.
Suicide, lust, relationships, and spirituality proper are all subjects that Aaron Weiss sets forth on MewithoutYou's new album, "Catch for us the Foxes". Anyone who knows a thing about lyricism can see that Aaron is truly gifted in the realm of wordplay. His euphemisms, analogies, allegories, metaphors, and similes are all intricately detailed and perfectly executed (I can't help but get shivers down my back when listening to "Tie Me Up! Untie Me!"). Aaron's lyrics are completely original, but if I had to compare it to something, I believe that Morrissey and Robert Smith with a more poetic edge would be the best comparisons. No matter how many times you listen to this album, it will always have a fresh edge because of Aaron's comprehensive presence.
Musically, 'Foxes' has taken MewithoutYou down a road that many had hoped they wouldn't have traveled down after their magnificent debut album, "A to B Life". The spastic hardcore rants are somewhat replaced by post-punk melodies (if you can call them that) and more atmospheric guitar rock reminiscent of The Smiths and The Cure. While most thought that this would be the downfall of the band, for their originality was indeed their best characteristic, it happens to be the refined song-writing that makes this album so much more intriguing. The distorted hardcore of their last album was only able to support Aaron in his rage, but the new wave flourish of 'Foxes' allows the band to not only support their frontman in his wide range of emotions, but allows them to actually branch off and create a whole new realm of feeling in and of themselves. This new trademark has put the band in a group of bands that has showcased less and less members since the dawn of the new millennium. Hopefully, the torches that MewithoutYou has lit will continue to shine bright for all to see, for they have set fire to a revolution in music that is more needed now than ever before.
on October 5, 2004
Once in a great while, an album comes out that is more than simply music and words - an album that can be described as nothing less than artwork. Few bands are capable of producing such an album, and even fewer actually reach such greatness. I believe that with Catch for us the Foxes, mewithoutYou has recorded a truly special album, an album that as a whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Let me preface the rest of this review by saying that mewithoutYou is my favorite band. I listened to their debut, A->B [Life], more than any other album in the last two years. It helped me through difficult times, and the lyrics spoke to me in a way no other album ever has. Needless to say, my expectations for this album were unbelieveably high. Nothing less than near-perfection would have met my standards. Although this album has not stood the test of time, I have very little doubt that it will.
For those of you unfortunate enough not to have heard mewithoutYou, they play post-punk indie rock that has it's obvious influences (Fugazi, The Smiths, etc,) but combines them in a way that is truly unique to a often stale music scene. Lead vocalist Aaron Weiss writes the best lyrics in music, and delivers them in a poetic scream-sing-talk delivery that forces the listener to pay attention to the words. For this band to truly make sense, it is also important to see them live. They put on one of the best shows I've ever seen.
Catch for Us the Foxes expands on A->B [Life] in several ways. One will notice that the music has a lot more room to breathe. The songs absolutely still rock, but much of the driving punk feel is gone, replaced with intricate guitar lines and expressive bass lines. Aaron even sings in a couple of songs, including the stark and moving closer "Son of a Widow." They worked with a top notch producer in Brad Wood (The Fire Theft, Smashing Pumpkins), who no doubt helped take their sound to new places. Lyrically, Weiss is no longer writing just about one girl who broke his heart. He still pours his heart out in an unbelievably honest way, but seems to be exploring his relationship with God in most of the songs. One criticism of this album I've heard is that it is not as "dangerous" as the debut, and "hides behind the production." With lyrics like "How else could I confess? When I looked down as if to pray, well I was looking down her dress" and "Didn't you untie me Lord? I haven't even thought about killing myself in almost five months," it is clear that Weiss explores his faith in a brutal honesty that, yes, could be dangerous to those closed in mind.
There is no use doing a track-by-track analysis. This is an album, and is meant to be listened to as such. I will say that the guest appearance by Scotty in "Four Word Letter, pt. 2" and the proclomation of "God is love and love is real" in "The Soviet" bring chills to the listener.
Catch for Us the Foxes is album of the year and then some. mewithoutYou may be gaining some "buzz" and hipster-appeal of late, but it is well deserved. They are certainly the most challenging band in the Christian market, and just maybe in the whole music scene. But this album now, don't wait. It just may change your perception of modern music.
on November 2, 2004
I heard mewithoutYou's "Gentlemen" in a sampler that came with the Further Seems Forever CD. When I first listened to it, I was immediately appalled with his strange way of "singing," if it can be called that. For one reason or another, I was drawn back to the song and began listening to it over and over. I realized that both lyrically and instrumentally the song was amazing. Even his unique voice grows on you eventually. I bought A -> B: Life, which grew on me the same way the first song did. When Catch For Us The Foxes was released I was astounded at the improvement in lyrics, music, and vocals. Do not by any means judge this CD or any other music of mewithoutYou on the first listen. It may take three or four listens to make an impression, but once you reach that point you will realize their true magnificence.
on October 14, 2004
"Catch For Us The Foxes" may not be album of the year... but it comes bloody close. On my first several listens I felt that "CFUTF" felt flat compared to "[A->B] Life." Further listens (with headphones while reading the lyrics) really opened the cd up and let it's beauty truely blossom.
The lyrics are really impressive, with lines like "why pluck one string... what good is just one note? oh, one string sounds fine i guess... but we were once "one notes." (from "Torches Together") and "God is love and love is real... as the night-time shined like day it saw my sorry face, hair a mess but it liked me best that way (besides, how else could I confess? When I looked down like if to pray, well I was looking down her dress...)" (from "The Soviet")
The songs work well both individually and as a collection. Weiss has adopted vocals that are closer to a spoken word/sing, which makes the songs feel like a poetry reading... ala Soul Coughing. I definately reccomend this cd... just be prepared for the shift in sound.
on September 28, 2006
I'm actually giving this record five stars, a first for me on this site. I am giving it five stars simply because this is a record everyone should listen to once. It may not be for everyone, but everyone should definitely give it a try as this is an absolutely unique band.
There are two standout aspects to this band. The first and most obvious is their singer Aaron Weiss and his strained and dramatic way of singing, which is talking, really. Mr. Weiss is very much a Christian, but he isn't dealing with your standard "praise Jesus" material. Instead we find gut wrenching lyrics about suicide and doubt delivered in Bob Dylan-like poetic form. My favorite line is probably from "Carousels": "If there was no way into God,I would never have laid in this grave of a body for so long." Beautifully dark and striking, especially when sung so exaspertated as Aaron sings it. Reminds me of "The Patient" by Tool.
The second standout aspect in mewithoutYou is the musicianship. I absolutely love the musical breakdowns the band comes up with, especially considering they can come in at any time in any song. "Leaf" is heavily musical throughout where the vocals could really be classified as the bridge in the song. The song structure overal is rather experimental with a de-emphasis on choruses (though they do abound) and more emphasis on overall flow. Some great guitar licks and interplay between rhythm and melody.
Standout tracks for me are "January 1979", "Tie Me Up!" (what a great guitar lick), "Four Word Letter", "My Exit, Unfair" and "Paper Hanger." The latter here is an interesting song for me. I don't really care for the first half of the song, but the ending is such a beast that is even better when you see it live. Really, there isn't a bad song on this record. The only downside is it takes a little while to differentiate some songs from others due to the irregular song structure and that Aaron's vocal stylings in each song is so similar. All that means, though, is that we need to give the record a few more listens and work a little harder with it. As many of us know, this is usually true of the great records that stay with us over the years.
This is a record for everyone who loves music to give a listen to. This includes non-Christians. Forget the label "Christian" and simply listen to the emotion and intensity that this band brings. For a unique sound with great songwriting and powerful lyrics, you need look no further.
on December 4, 2004
If you are looking for something new and different and exciting. Something that sounds honest, raw, and real...something that can speak to you on an artistic level and a spiritual level...get this cd.
At times Cure-like guitars and soundscapes with spoken, poetry lyrics (similar to Henry Rollins) and some dark modern rock with ethnic vocals thrown in and feedback with surprisingly chunky guitar riffs. And their unique sound works very well. A sound that will satisfy fans of hardcore, emo, old new wave, modern rock, and anyone else looking for something NEW. Finally, something NEW that sounds really good.
The lyrics are real, raw, honest, and something you can probably relate you. Some of the best lyrics I've seen in a while from an artistic, poetic standpoint...unbelievable images, symbolism, etc. You will most likely come out of this listening experience with a different perspective of Jesus Christ...one that will probably attract you.
Go get it.
on August 16, 2005
Most of my thoughts have already been stated in the previous reviews. I thought the music was O.K. at first, but it soon grew on me exponentially. Hands down, mewithoutYou is my favorite band. There's enough layers to the music that you can listen to it passively and really 'listen' to it and get something out of it. It's lyrical and musical gold.
I would suggest going to [...] and downloading their free songs if you've never heard them before. Listen to the songs a good 7 times and see what you think.
on April 29, 2012
Every album by Mewithoutyou is worth listening to, and this album is no exception. I am not going to launch into a novel of a review to tell you how good this album is. Just BUY it. Let it speak for itself.
Really pay attention to the lyrics though when listening to Mewithoutyou. They are maybe the most important part. You will hear what seems to be the convictions of a man who loves Jesus Christ, and is doing his best to be a Christian. Yes the poetry is beautiful, but listen to the heart of what he addresses in the music.
on March 7, 2005
Well, you've found it. mewithoutYou's 'Catch For Us The Foxes'. By far the most ambitious and impressive release from the mostly religious screamo metal label Tooth & Nail. This band plays with such intensity that one can't help but be captured by its sound. Compared to all the other screamo/emo lead singers, the vocals are a fresh release. There are very few 'growls' in their songs which makes them that much more listenable, but they still don't have that radio friendly sound. The singer hits you with a very matter-of-fact sort of tone with intelligent, insightful, creative lyrics that you can't help but listen to a million times trying to decipher each line. I only say decipher because the singer has a very quick spoken word sort of approach. Lyrics like "I was floating in a peaceful sea, rescued by a sinking ship." or "And if you're still looking for a blanket sweetie, sorry I'm no sort of fabric." It's the type of music and lyrics most bands only wish they could come up with. Instead mewithoutYou hits it spot on. Sort of like Death From Above 1979 meets Jesus Lizard. Listen to the samples and then buy the CD. It's not for everyone, but for those that get it, I commend you. I hope you find this review helpful. Also, while you're at it, if you're on myspace, check out the band Legion of Doom. They do mash-ups of screamo/emo bands including mewithoutYou's "January 1979" with underOath's "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door." Check it. Recognize. Rock on my friends.
on January 29, 2005
I found myself getting incredibly burnt out on the screamo/emo genre as a whole, spending most of my time looking for new bands and talent that didn't sound like regurgitated "Thursday". That's when I came across "mewithoutyou - Catch for Us the Foxes".
This CD is a highly energetic blend which is comprised of, or at least what sounds like (to me), multiple influences/styles:
At the Drive In
Scatter the Ashes
Take the high energy, eclectic pulse of the first two bands, and mix it with hauntingly beautiful melodies and lyrics reminiscent of the latter and you get "mewithoutyou". Very good for anyone looking for a break from the mold, all while holding onto what we love about this style of music.
Stand out tracks include:
Tie Me Up! Untie Me!
Note: This CD is NOT screamo, but would compliment your CD collection and any of your favorite bands of that ilk.