Make Do And Mend

End Measured Mile

Written by: PP on 20/09/2011 01:36:13

Though many bands have been caught red-handed with their fingers in the Hot Water Music cookie jar, Make Do And Mend are one of the most obvious thieves of recent times on their debut album "End Measured Mile", where they mix together mid tempo punk rock with post-hardcore much in the same way as the genre pioneers did for the first time over a decade ago. But don't take it the wrong way. Being accused of cloning a band's sound isn't usually a commendable action, but "End Measured Mile" is different. It carries on the "Caution"-era legacy from the legends with such conviction and driving energy that even the die-hard Hot Water fans will have to admit that Make Do And Mend have nailed the post-hardcore flavored punk rock dynamic to near-perfection. Its soaring choruses and powerful melodies are enough to suggest that Make Do And Mend are simply heavily inspired by the band, and probably also the likes of Polar Bear Club and Small Brown Bike as well. Now ask yourself: how can that be a bad thing?

And so you can expect the following from this album: honest and raw delivery both in terms of the instruments and the vocals, lots of mid-tempo, straight-forward songs, but ones that impress because they are packed with unfiltered emotion and great melodies. Dual guitar dynamics in the vein of HWM are everywhere, as demonstrated by a tight rhythm section and a large dose of leading melody layered on top to drive the songs home. And while these make for the solid groundwork of the album, it's the gravelly, shouted vocals drenched in passion that give Make Do And Mend the shove needed to push them in front of other contemporaries like Basement, Campaign, Daylight, Paper Arms, The Great Explainer et cetera. "Oak Square", in particular, has a chorus to kill for, whereas the vocalist absolutely explodes into his coarse work on "Stand Stagger" and on the heart scraping "eeend measured mile" screams on the final track "Night's The Only Time Of Day".

But most of all, Make Do And Mend display a great ear for subtly infectious melody throughout the album, but especially on the second half of the album, which loads one genre highlight after another in quick succession. Sometimes the band slows things down to an almost balladic stance for more lyrical effect and more of a straight-forward rock sound, which is also good, but there's no denying that the slightly faster material that relies on basic chord-based riffs and honest vocals is the best part of their sound. And as if their own qualities weren't enough, "Ghostal" even features an awesome guest verse by the La Dispute vocalist who almost transforms the track into a song by his own band, if only for a moment, thanks to his unique and instantly recognizable vocals.

In the end, I'm searching for reasons to not rate "End Measured Mile" as a 'great' release, but each time I'm coming short because of the sheer quality of the songs it contains. There aren't any weak tracks on the record, and the majority of them are better than what's currently produced by similar bands in the genre. So if gravelly post-hardcore/punk rock hybrid bands are your thing, few are better than Make Do And Mend. What a debut.

Download: Oak Square, Night's The Only Time Of Day, Stand Stagger
For the fans of: Hot Water Music, Polar Bear Club, Basement
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 01.08.2011
Shield Recordings

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