Written by: PP on 22/02/2016 23:57:44

I'm rounding up my 2015 coverage with another band that went criminally underrated in the punk circles yet produced a thoroughly enjoyable bridge album until the next Lawrence Arms release comes around. Make War, who originate from New York, namely play an eerily similar quiet/loud meets slow/fast dynamic as the Midwestern punk legends did on especially 2002's "Apathy And Exhaustion", relying on gravelly and slightly smoky vocals and depth-laden riffs to produce an understated yet fantastic expression overall. The build ups are lengthy and unleash back-chilling choruses when they finally come around, perfectly complemented by the raspy vocals that give the record a rough and edgy feel overall. Take a listen to "Shorter Days And Longer Nights", for instance, which Larry Arms would be proud of for writing: the nostalgia-driven cries of "No, I don't want your phone number, I don't even remember your name [...] to be honest with you, I don't want her to give a damn" get me every time.

I could stop the review there as I sense your mouth is salivating already, but there's more. MakeWar namely channel two distinct expressions throughout the record and merge them together into one hybrid style. The first one, as discussed, is an apparent love for The Lawrence Arms type of laid-back Midwestern punk (as opposed to the in-your-face rowdiness of, say, Off With Their Heads), and the second one is a tendency to go overboard emotionally in the vein of seminal indie-flavored emo group Tigers Jaw. Midway through the album, many guitars namely take the same melancholically-ringing tone as on Tigers Jaw, which contrasts the raspy Lawrence Arms style vocals nicely. "Second Floor", for instance, sounds like the latter band turbocharged with The Lawrence Arms inspiration simultaneously. Instantly catchy, upbeat and fast Midwestern punk rock exactly how we want it to sound like.

The fact is, "MakeWar" is a hell of a debut album that's sure to grow slowly into a genre favorite this year. Tasteful harmonica flavoring adds spice to a textbook Midwestern punk soundscape while the overload on emotion and melancholic guitar tune creates a great contrast. As mentioned before, it's a very understated expression, but it's fast, gravelly, and catchy underneath the surface. A criminally rated punk rock release, that's for sure.


Download: Shorter Days And Longer Nights, Second Floor, Against The Rules, Bloody Faces
For the fans of: The Lawrence Arms, Tigers Jaw, The Holy Mess
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.08.2015
Black Numbers

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII