Make Do And Mend – Everything You Ever Loved
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Record Label: Rise
Everyone has a record (or records) like this. Records that unite and create memories between friends. Records that serve as the soundtrack to the memories you've made and memories you'll soon make. This is why we've fell in love with music in the first place. These are albums that stay with you for the rest of your life. And Make Do And Mend's latest offering (and Rise Records debut) Everything You Ever Loved reminds me of why I love this stuff so much in the first place.
What you're about to drop the needle on is one of the most intimate, intense, and moving albums of 2012. Make Do And Mend just took it to the next level – meshing their brand of melodic punk with the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Foo Fighters. Everything You Ever Loved is an eleven track rock album that will be the shock you'll need to your system to avoid those lethargic summer days. Opening track “Blur” begins somberly, as vocalist James Carroll belts out the first few lines of the album, referencing the album's title. It's reminiscent of the latest material from Balance and Composure, until it lives up to its name and sprints forward into runaway guitar riffs and Carroll's gravelly voice. It's the perfect table setter for Everything You Ever Loved, as it eases you into the new direction Make Do And Mend showcases throughout the album while maintaining the edge first heard on their 2010 debut End Measured Mile.
The urgent “Count” definitely dips its toe in the Hot Water Music pool, as its infectious chorus carries you along. The first sign of the distinct change in MDAM appears on the wailing “Disassemble,” which features Carroll channeling his inner Dave Grohl during the massive chorus. Carroll and fellow guitarist Mike O'Toole really bring the riffs here, as this is one of the more guitar-heavy tracks on the album. “Stay In The Sun” will no doubt become a fan favorite, with its pop-punk demeanor setting the backdrop for some of the album's best lyrics (“You can click your heels until you wear holes in the floor/and realize that no place feels like home anymore”).
While Everything You Ever Loved definitely contains songs sound like previous Make Do And Mend material, you can immediately sense the difference between this batch of songs compared to previous ones. The songwriting here is more in-depth – each song is layered and textured in ways that none of MDAM's peers can match. Take “Drown In It” for example. It has all the usually MDAM elements (rip-roaring vocals set to crunchy guitars chords), but the way the band sets it up is what makes it truly great. It's nearly two minutes of Carroll's calm vocals, a distant guitar chord, and strings slowing before charging into its huge, aggressive climax (the aforementioned MDAM song elements). The blistering “Hide Away” follows nearly the same formula – its slow burn leads into one of the album's finest choruses. Yes, Everything You Ever Loved is a decidedly slower paced album that its predecessor, but when you hear tracks like these, you know the band has made the right decision in their songwriting.
What the band has learned is that you don't always have to scream to be heavy or to get a point across. Carroll proves this on the handful of ballads (or I guess what comes close to a ballad for a band like MDAM) that show up on Everything You Ever Loved. The breathtaking, cello-laden “St. Anne” may go down as the best song in the band's entire discography. Carroll's lyrics are instantly relatable and heart-wrenching, as the passion in his voice varies throughout the song while the cathartic hook waits around the corner to lure you in. The spinning, atmospheric guitar work will draw comparisons to the musicianship on Jimmy Eat World's Futures, especially during the bridge. “St. Anne,” along with the delicate ache of album closer “Desert Lily,” will move you and continue to resonate within you with each subsequent listen.
Yes, the album still presents plenty of opportunities to turn up the volume (the stomping first single “Lucky” is a prime cut, as Matt Carroll kills it behind the kit), but it's the softer, more intimate moments that really stand out. While not a concept album, Everything You Ever Loved definitely tells a story of heartache, life on the road, and the sliver of optimism that comes along with it throughout. If this album doesn't move you or make you feel something, then you've probably been six feet under for a while now. Make Do And Mend has released the best album of its young career and one of the essential must-have albums of 2012. Make sure you have an answer when the question “Where were you when Make Do And Mend's Everything You Ever Loved changed your life?” eventually arises.
This album reminded me why I love music so much. Everything about it is beautiful. St. Anne and Desert Lily are definitely my standouts, with Stay in the Sun being close behind, mainly due to the lyrics you highlighted. I love that the band was able to successfully change their sound to ultimately make a better record. The guitar work through this album is spot on.