To broaden the horizons of you faithful Blah Blah readers (and add some new categories for my posts), I’ll switch gears again with the band mewithoutYou. Some day, probably after I get some variety up here, I’ll actually have a method to my posts, like do a series on new worship groups, a series on folk rock, a series on emo, and so on, but right now, you’ll have to be satisfied with the pure randomness that is The Blah Blah.
I was introduced to mewithoutYou a year ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. While their first album A–>B Life was a little harder than I normally go for, I liked the lyrics (what I could understand anyway). Catch for Us the Foxes refined their sound a little, and with their latest album Brother, Sister, the band seems to have found a good balance of brute energy, poetic imagery, and instrumental angst, whatever that means. They’re not as dark sounding as they first were, which I think is a good thing, and the sound is a lot cleaner and tighter.
The band consists of vocalist Aaron Weiss, guitarists Michael Weiss and Christopher Kleinberg, bassist Greg Jehanian and drummer Richard Mazzotta. Though their sound is hard to classify accurately, mewithoutYou’s music is generally dominated by Aaron, who, rather than singing, talks in dramatic, varied tones and pitches. The band usually strays from typical song structures, featuring effects-laden guitar, a very prominent and distorted bass tone and bombastic rhythms, resulting in a rather experimental style. In their most recent album, Brother, Sister, the band incorporates more varied instrumentation including various percussion instruments, accordion, and harp.
The band’s Christian roots can be seen through the biblical allusions found throughout the songs as well as in interviews with the band members. In one example Weiss calls Jesus his rabbi. The band name itself refers to how they feel decisions made without the guidance of God (notice how ‘You’ is capitalized) never turn out to be deep and meaningful. It is reminiscent of the parable of The Vine in the Gospel of John, especially Chapter 15, Verse 5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
The thing I love about mewithoutYou is that, as a band, they’re up-front about their Christian foundation but also very creative musically, breaking down ideas of what “Christian music” should sound like. They’ve been gaining a lot of attention from the secular media because of their new sound. That’s the way it should be. God is the most creative being in existence, and His followers should be the same.
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