Powerful chords paired with a flawless screaming /singing ratio, come together to produce a full and consuming sound that puts the listener at a show not in a studio. The build-ups and break-downs are placed perfectly in order to rev up the audience and take you on the emotional journey of the song. Your body inadvertently begins to move with the beat and by the end of the album, the you are simultaneously emotionally satisfied, contemplative, drained, and energized.
This roller coaster of emotional response is due to the perfect balance between the slow deep quiet and the loud screaming release, (and the moments of layered vocals that incite singing along). Make Do and Mend have mastered this balance, letting the silence become just as strong as the music and vocals, and allowing it subtly seep into the listener.
Though it would be easy to only talk about the solid, encompassing music and the striking vocals, but their lyrics should not be overlooked. There is emotion and intensity that you can’t feign on this record, from the simple daily issues such as Oak Square, which addresses the timeless question of the artist: selling your soul to the 40 hour work week just to make ends meet; Keep This, gives a peek into the ambivalence of touring; and Firewater discusses a relationship. Two of the most powerful tracks are also the tracks that tackle sensitive issues. From their intense chords and James Carol’s arresting voice, Ghostal addresses a torn family, “You held me in your arms and said that the pain was something I’d forget” to the raw emotion of Stand/stagger, “But I’d be fine if I could just shake this feeling / that all I am is spinning out of control” the band stands stripped.
It is bands who are honest and unafraid to strip in front of their audience who remain valid through the years and with End Measured Mile and Make Do and Mend has asserted themselves as one of those artists.