Posts Tagged ‘ unwed sailor

btv081 mewithoutYou : brother, sister LP

mewithoutYou : Brother, Sister (btv081)
Buy Online | LPTrack listing:
A Side
1. Messes of men
2. The Dryness & The Rain
3. Wolf Am I! (And Shadow)
4. Yellow Spider
5. A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains
6. Nice & Blue, Pt. 2
7. The Sun & The Moon
B Side
1. Orange Spider
2. C-Minor
3. In A Market Dimly Lit
4. O, Porcupine
5. Brownish Spider
6. In A Sweater Poorly Knit
In a move that may be shocking to some of our instrumental fans, Burnt Toast Vinyl has issued the vinyl for for mewithoutYou‘s Brother, Sister. They’re everyone’s favorite leftist, biodiesel bus-driving, freegan post-hardcore rockers and all around great guys. We’ve known Aaron and Greg for years, both having played in an earlier band with an ep release on btv in the label’s infancy. Brother, Sister is one of our favorite records of 2006 and we’re very proud to be able to give it a proper release on vinyl. It’s the swan song release of their career–an indie rock opus that challenges their listening base, utilizing lush layers of melody, mixing in a bit of post-hardcore style, and quickly shifting gears back and forth, creating a unique amalgam of styles.“I do not exist,” mewithoutYou frontman Aaron Weiss mutters to open the band’s third full-length, Brother, Sister, setting the tone for an album that explores cosmological, existential, and interpersonal crises with equal aplomb. However, while Weiss has become known for his stream-of-consciousness lyrics communicated via his half-sung/half-shouted vocals, Brother, Sister is a huge progression for Weiss personally, as well as the rest of the Philadelphia-based band—guitarist Michael Weiss, guitarist Christopher Kleinberg, bassist Greg Jehanian and drummer Rickie Mazzotta.In a musical landscape dominated by genre divisions and marketing campaigns,Brother, Sister is simply an album made by five people who create art without any limitations—and that’s what makes it so important. While the album retains mewithoutYou’s instantly recognizable post-hardcore sound, Weiss’ vocals and the implementation of atypical instrumentation are the most instantly recognizable shifts from 2004’s Catch For Us The Foxes. “A lot of our old stuff is all shouting and that’s still there,” explains Weiss. “But I’ve never really listened to heavy music; with this record, my goal was to make music that I wanted to listen to. Not everyone agreed at first, but I wanted to incorporate different types of melodies and instrument—and those are probably some of my favorite moments on the record.”

While Foxes and mewithoutYou‘s debut [A -> B Life] were rife with delay-driven guitars, explosive drumming and driving songs, the beauty of Brother, Sister alternately lies in its subtleties. Opening with a lone Wurlitzer and minimal percussion, “Masses of Men” crams more emotion into three-minutes than screaming ever could; “The Dryness and the Rain” incorporates an middle-eastern orchestra for its chorus; and the quasi-ballad “A Sweater Poorly Knit” is probably the most epic song the band have ever crafted, featuring acoustic guitar, accordion, harp, flugelhorn, and trombone into a musical journey that shifts from beautiful to foreboding and back again seamlessly. The harp and organic imagery easily call to mind Joanna Newsom’s Milk Eyed Mender. “And it’s light and dark as honeydew and pumpernickel bread”, “Take the fingers from your flute, weave your colored yarns, and boil down your fruits to preserves in mason jars”, “The books are overdue and the goats are underfed” are phases that exemplify some sort of simplistic freak folk poetic mastery.

This is a beautifully instrumented album featuring flugelhorn and trombones from members of Anathallo (Nettwerk), upright bass from Orlando Greenhill of Create! (Sounds Are Active), beautiful harp playing from Nashvile based Timbre, tribal drumming/vocals from psalters, and vocals from Jeremy Enigk. The rich production was done by Brad Wood who has also produced albums for Codeine, Seam, Sunny Day Real Estate, Liz Phair, Hum, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Sea and Cake. At home on the vinyl, the drums especially sound warm and monstrous. It’s a deluxe format white vinyl with an oversized poster lyrics insert that does justice to the cover painting from Vasily Kafanov.

mewithoutYou has toured extensively over the past two years with bands such as Thursday, The Blood Brothers, Coheed and Cambria, Minus the Bear, Brand New, Sparta, Piebald, Jeremy Enigk, and Burnt Toast Vinyl’s own Unwed Sailor.

“The ultimate result of listening to Brother, Sister–other than the nagging temptation to…listen to it all over again–is the realization that mewithoutYou have written an album that will be with our generation for quite some time to come. And, trust us; we don’t normally say shit like that.” –Jason Schreurs, Wonka Vision



btv083 Unwed Sailor : Little Wars

Unwed Sailor
Little Wars (btv083)
Buy Online | cd/2xLP
Track listing:
A Side
1. Copper Islands
2. Little Wars
3. The Garden
4. Aurora
5. Campanile
B Side
6. Echo Roads
7. Nauvoo
8. Lonely Bulls
9. Numeral
C Side
10. Calliope (LP only)
D Side
11. Lonely Bulls (Southern Graze Mix) (LP only)
Unwed Sailor have been innovators in instrumental rock since their debut release in 1998. From beginnings in various post-punk and hardcore bands, including Seattle’s Roadside Monument, Johnathon Ford’s Unwed Sailor exhibits that wild power with the restraint of a seasoned musician and performing veteran. Their signature sound is based around Ford’s leading bass melodies, melodic string keyboard arrangements, intricate groove oriented rhythms, and sparkling chime like guitars. As they prepare to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Unwed Sailor are as busy as ever. At the end of November 2007, the band finished recording and mixing of Little Wars, their 4th full-length. The new full length, Little Wars, has been a concept for several years, originally planned to be a special 10″ vinyl only release. Initial tracks were recorded in late 2002 and the band began playing a track or two as part of their live set. “Copper Islands” is a building block for the album and has become a fan favorite from their live shows. As the band grew comfortable playing the songs live, Ford decided to re-visit and expand the material into a full album. The final Little Wars sessions were recorded and mixed close to Ford’s Tulsa, OK childhood home in nearby Norman, OK by Chad Copelin (Page France, Umbrellas, Ryan Lindsey) in his new Blackwatch Studios.

Little Wars is the band’s most ambitious and complex release yet, building on melodic lessons and recording techniques learned over the last several albums. Not content to follow up with their energetic 2000 debut full-length, The Faithful Anchor, with a mere sequel, the band recorded 2003’s The Marionette and the Music Box, challenging its fan base with a Peter and the Wolf inspired, classically influenced fairy-tale. In 2006, Unwed Sailor released The White Ox full-length and Circles ep that further departed from their live performance sound, exploring Eno/Lanois ambient recording techniques, resulting in a brooding, gloomy ambient opus wrapped in southwestern imagery. Little Wars reflects both the depth and breadth that the band has developed through these diverging releases and its live show. The songs are energetic and highly melodic, but gently colored and focused by layered keyboards and percussion with a delicate ambience. Unwed Sailor has had a revolving cast of musicians in recent years, audiences treated to various colors and flavors of the band, emphasizing its many different aspects. The core line-up that recorded The Marionette and the Music Box with Johnathon Ford was re-assembled, including longtime guitarist Nic Tse who now lives in Hong Kong, drummer Matthew Putman, and guitarist Matthew Depper, and combined with the current live band which includes keyboardist Brooks Tipton, drummer Patrick Ryan, and guitarist Andrew Haldeman.

The album opens with the Who influenced “Copper Islands” which sets the pace for Little Wars, reminding fans of the live show and immediately pulling the band back towards its earlier energetic melodies. The title track and “The Garden” continue on the melodic trend, carried by the energy of drummer Matt Putman’s solid complex danceable rhythms, but also bending the record back towards lush ambience with various choir and synth keyboard parts that bring to mind The Cure or New Order. Unwed Sailor is not afraid to be aggressive as it moves on towards its heavy distortion influenced “Aurora”. While it is trendy to incorporate heavy/distortion influences into instrumental rock these days, Ford has tapped into this energy many times over his career, especially during blistering Roadside Monument performances. On at least one occasion, Ford was so caught up in the frenzied live performance, he ripped the four strings off his bass with his bare hands. But even on “Aurora”, the heaviness is balanced by Tipton and Depper’s lush keyboard arrangements, creating soaring sounds that are sure to inspire, further evidence of the Unwed Sailor dialectic. “Echo Roads” is a more traditional rock composition, carried by a Neil Young influenced melody. “Lonely Bulls” recalls the cuckoo-clock staccato of The Marionette and the Music Box, mixing in dense layers of keyboards and storybook/lullaby melodies. “Numeral” closes Little Wars drenched in heavy effects and ambience bringing to mind Brian Eno or Pink Floyd. Little Wars stands alone. It is truly a unique, progressive, and challenging addition to the growing number of instrumental albums hitting the shelves.

Unwed Sailor hit the road in a big way in 2007, touring extensively throughout the US on multiple tours and playing shows with bands including Murder By Death, Battles, This Will Destroy You, Twilight Sad, mewithoutyou, Appleseed Cast, Lotus, and Daughters. Unwed Sailor is currently booking tours for Spring 2008 in the US and early Summer in Europe to support Little Wars, continuing to challenge and impress audiences with their energetic live show.

Ford labors on somber, epic sound-paintings that recall Eno’s philosophies of discreet music, but can also roll into more jazz-infused rhythms, spearheading a more out there kind of post-rock.–Real Detroit Weekly

Pulsing cadences conjured up the rolling rhythm of white-capped sea waves, complete with rushing piano work and drumbeats like sunbeams piercing down into the blue depths. Even to a reviewer 30 feet away, their labors shoed Unwed Sailor’s members were burning themselves up, giving their all in a tightly focused and highly coordinated effort, sweating in the warm July night air as their surging harmonies shook the Opolis –Adam Scott, Norman Transcript




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