The problem with releasing a debut album as perfect as 2010’s ‘End Measured Mile’ is that, somehow, you need to at least match it blow for blow on album two. So how does ‘Everything You Ever Loved’ match up in the ring? It’s a close match but sadly ‘End Measured Mile’ walks away the undisputed, albeit badly battered, champion.
Although the band have clearly progressed after two years of heavy touring ‘Everything You Ever Loved’ still retains all of Make Do And Mends trademarks – James Carroll’s gruff vocals, reflective lyrics and a strong love of ‘drowning’ metaphors – whilst moving forwards with a cleaner production and a truckload of well delivered ‘loud/quiet’ dynamics. ‘Count’ sounds like an extra from ‘End Measured Mile’ whilst ‘Royal’ feels like the spiritual successor to ‘Oak Square.’ The closing track ‘Desert Lily’ is Make Do And Mend at their most tender. This is the Bristol, USA four piece proving that they don’t need to be heavy to be intense.
The downside to this more progressive, varied Make Do And Mend is that it lacks the same punch that ‘End Measured Mile’ did. ‘EMM’ was a brilliant album whilst ‘Everything…’ is a collection of brilliant tracks. If this album doesn’t provide them with their big break then I’m sure the next will. The future is looking bright for Make Do And Mend.
‘Everything You Ever Loved’ by Make Do And Mend is out now on Rise Records.
Words by Richard Heaven (PFC_Records).