Album Review: Make Do And Mend – Don’t Be Long

A new Make Do And Mend album is always something to anticipate and receive with a frenzied appetite and the build up to ‘Don’t Be Long’ has been no exception. Following on from 2012’s ‘Everything That You Ever Loved’, the band have returned with a new set of punk rock poems aiming to reiterate to everyone why they are still the scene’s definitive heartbreak kids.

The thing that has consistently set Make Do And Mend away from the rest of baying pack is their knack for pulling at the heartstrings with their songwriting without losing any of their initial bite. Opening with the sentimental cool of ‘Don’t Be Long’ and angsty beauty of ‘Ever Since’, the band paint two different sides to the concept of love in quick succession with real uumph. Throughout loneliness, enamorment, resentment and loss are all prodded, dissected and exorcised while still being coated in spiky riffs and passion conjured from the very depths of the band’s conscious. Demonstrated perfectly on ‘Old Circles’ which incorporates “woah ohs” with retrospective connotations and ‘Each Of Us’ which sways and jolts with pretty chords and rallying cries, this is a band that has found the perfect outlet to express their affections without compromising on their musical impact.

Things take a turn into the even more melodic with standout highlights ‘Sin Miedo’ and ‘Sin Amor’ (translated as without fear and loveless respectively) soaring with vocalist James Carroll’s pipes taking on more of a pained tone than just pissed off.

A lot of times music can come across as just chords and words thrown together with the intent of shifting some copies rather than actually having heart and soul poured into them. Make Do And Mend make sure you know how much their music means to them. Throughout ‘Don’t Be Long’ it is possible to feel whom these words are being sung to and where they came from. Each song is a different story and a different emotion. When music can make you feel a stranger’s happiness or pain this strongly, it must be pretty damn special. Things come to a near flawless close with the acoustic tones of ‘I Don’t Wonder At All’ putting things into a new mellow perspective before ‘Begging For The Sun To Go Down’ builds into a pulsating crescendo of a finale.

Rather than spilling their guts prematurely like so many bands do and end up falling flat, Make Do And Mend have taken their time in crafting their music and from that patience have, just like in the past, produced a collection of ahead-of-the-curve punk rock jams filled with gruff feeling, mature musicianship and a knack for bringing out the varied romantic in all of us. ‘Don’t Be Long’ will fit snuggly into any music fan’s collection and still sound fresh, poignant and accessible in the many years to come.

4/5

‘Don’t Be Long by Make Do And Mend is out now on Stay Close Records/Rise Records

Make Do And Mend links:Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)

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