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“Captivating story told with near-perfect musicianship”
Philadelphia, PA▼ Article continues below ▼
It’s been quite the evolution for Philly’s mewithoutYou. What began as experimental punk rock dominated by spoken word vocals has grown more sophisticated and mature with every new release. The group’s rock dynamics and sensibilities took a bit of a backseat with 2009’s folky, Aesop Fable-y It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s Alright, the last Tooth & Nail release this band would have. But now the quartet is on its own without the help of a label, and the band has never sounded tighter.
Ten Stories sees a return to form for mewithoutYou, but there are still elements from It’s All Crazy! present. Lyrically, the songs are rife with allegories and metaphors that expertly delve into themes of life, death, loneliness, and faith through use of a wild concept (the album follows ten animals as they escape from a circus-train crash).
Musically, this album seems to finally blend every style that influences mewithoutYou. Fast-paced, aggressive rock numbers like “Cardiff Giant” with dirty electric guitars feature subtle horn sections, while slower-paced songs like “Bear’s Vision of St. Agnes” build to overwhelming heights with dramatic string sections.
It’s been 10 years since mewithoutYou debuted their unique brand of loud, aggressive, punk rock. But since then it’s been an adventure to watch this band grow. With Ten Stories, the band finally sounds as if they are truly masters of their craft and have a strong grasp on their sound.
Produced by Daniel Smith