mewithoutYou - Catch for Us the Foxes (Cover Artwork)


Catch for Us the Foxes (2004)

Tooth & Nail

mewithoutYou is a band that constantly changes with every new album, and the change between their full-length debut, [A→B] Life and 2004's Catch for Us the Foxes was a dramatic one. When they started out, mewithoutYou were a band that played a very original style of hardcore. At the forefront of this love-it-or-hate-it sort of style were Aaron Weiss' vocals. More spoken-word than screaming, they serve to convey his amazing lyrics in a more intimate way than traditional hardcore/post-hardcore vocalists.

By the time Catch for Us the Foxes came around, the band had undergone another of their transformations. Gone is the rough production and heavily distorted, almost buzzsaw guitars, replaced with a much smoother production style and a sound that was much easier to stomach. Weiss progressed much as a lyricist between albums as well. While his lyrics on [A→B] Life were very focused on sexual frustration and death, Catch for Us the Foxes found a much happier and mature Weiss.

Now, yes, the lyrics do deal with a lot of spiritual themes; however, Weiss never comes across as preachy. All of his spiritually themed songs deal only with struggles and revelations within his own life and how he has applied them, and he does a good job to leave the rest of us out of it.

The entire album is spectacular, but for me, the tracks that stand out above all others are "Torches Together," "January, 1979," "Carousels" and "Son of a Widow." These are the first two, and last two tracks of the album, respectively, and the progression between them is fantastic. The first two start the album off with a bang, with the thundering "Torches Together" serving as an amazing warmup to the album's highlight, the bombastic "January, 1979." These two are probably the loudest and fastest songs on the album, and the reverb-drenched guitar soundscapes set the mood for the rest of the album. As the album winds down, Weiss lets loose his fears and doubts in "Carousels." The most spiritual song on the album, "Carousels" is, in my opinion, also the strongest lyrically. Wiess doesn't hide anything in the song, and his emotion runs deeply through the song, but never overpowers it.

Though the band will never again sound like this, the album stands as one of the most original and well made post-hardcore albums of the decade. No other band sounds like this, and Aaron Weiss is one of the most confessional, and well-spoken lyricists in the business. Catch for Us the Foxes is the band's masterpiece, and will remain one of my favorite albums for quite some time.