Album Review: Mewithoutyou – Pale Horses

Pale Horses by Mewithoutyou

#aotd is Pale Horses by Mewithoutyou. Musically, this album is an eclectic mix of Indie Rock, Post Hardcore and even Spoken Word. This mix won’t be unfamiliar to anyone who has ever listened to a Mewithoutyou album before though. Over the years the band has established a unique sound that is immediately recognisable whether they are leaning on their folky or heavier elements. One thing that has always been true for this band is that they are not for easy listening. While I’d argue they have a much tighter grip over creating decent instrumental passages than their genre contemporaries, if you don’t pay attention to the lyrics of a Mewithoutyou album you are missing the point. This album is intensely wordy and mind bogglingly well written. On songs like the fantastic “Mexican War Streets” the frontman makes numerous vague references to the bible and to a memory involving a seismometer and a bridge. What does it all mean? I have no idea, but on this track and every track on here you get the feeling the band is making a statement about something much larger than what is mentioned. I’m sure one day, one of these songs will come on at the right time and it will all become clear to me but as I stated earlier this isn’t easy listening. The multiple references to religious text and constant metaphors make this album delightfully cryptic. The frontmans vocal delivery on here ranges from impassioned shouts, whispered mutterings and some normal singing on the more melodic songs like the title track and “Magic Lantern Days”. His quiet vocals on some of these tracks are slightly frustrating as this combined with his strong accent makes the lyrics hard to decipher at times. My favourite thing about this band is thankfully still present on this album though and that is the fact that, despite how much effort is being put into the songs lyrically, equal amounts of effort is put into the tracks instrumentally. The song “Rainbow Signs” might be one of the most epic tracks of 2015 with a phenomenal build up and tremendous climax where the guitars just crash like waves onto a cliff face. Mewithoutyou is doing us no favours on Pale Horses, the band refuses to conform to accessibility and what we get because of this is an intelligent album which feels far deeper than what it makes itself out to be.
Rating: 3.9/5

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