Reviews Make Do and Mend Don't Be Long

Make Do and Mend

Don't Be Long

Back in 2010, Make Do and Mend were taking over top 10 lists with their debut, End Measured Mile. The band went on to shake things up with, Everything You Ever Loved. They slowed things down and focused on finding the right formula for their songs to burst and bloom. Their newest record, Don't Be Long, takes every chance it gets to hit you full force. Sometimes, you like the way it knocks you out. Sometimes, you wish for a little restraint.

The title track opens the record in a similar fashion as "Blur" did for Everything You Ever Loved. After a few notes however, vocalist James Carroll, shouts from the bottom of his throat and the song explodes. It's apparent in the first song that the shouting doesn't work well for entire songs anymore, and it comes off more forceful than natural. The same can be said for the third track, "Bluff." where he even struggles to hit notes in his guttural fashion. Carroll's vocals work so much better when he sings. Even on heavier songs like, "Don't Be Long," singing would have benefited the song. "Ever Since" plays closer to the poppier side with great verses and a pre-chorus that builds to something more grand than is delivered. We don't get to Don't Be Long's first great track until 4 songs in. "Old Circles" maintains an uptempo rhythm. and while some of the lead guitar gets drowned out in the chorus, there are little accents that bleed through which actually make it stand out. Much like the rest of the first half of the album, "Each of Us" is a simpler song, but the ending is promising.

The second half of Don't Be Long, is much stronger. There are few more curve balls thrown at you that makes for a more interesting half. "Sin MIedo" and "Sin Amor" are a great pair. Both are a bit softer for your ears. The latter has some more interesting time signatures going on, and is a stand out track on the album. However, "All There Is" gets me much more excited. It's not fast paced. It doesn't contain any kind of crazy solos. It ultimately maintains the same tempo throughout the entire song, but it's a song that's unique to Make Do and Mend's repertoire. The song leads right into, "I Don't Wonder At All," which is a sweet and solemn acoustic track. The band get back to rocking out on "Sanctimony." Aside from the bridge, it's mostly a forgettable track. We've worked our way to the album's closer. Some will like it. Some may hate it. "Begging For the Sun to Go Down," starts off beautifully with its post-rock sound. It's a direction that I would love to hear Make Do and Mend explore more in the future.

Make Do and Mend don't top their previous efforts with Don't Be Long. For the most part, much of the record is forgettable. There do however, seem to be some new ideas brewing amongst the band. There's plenty of room to progress, and I'm sure they will. I look forward to hearing what the band comes up with when the time comes to write another album.

7.0 / 10Aaron H
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