Whatever the opposite of “sophomore slump” is, that’s how to describe Make Do And Mend’s Everything You Ever Loved. With their most insightful and meaningful lyrics to date, the boys of MDAM have somehow managed to outshine their debut masterpiece End Measured Mile. Though their 2010 release garnered them a decent-sized loyal fan base, it would not be surprising –and would be much deserved– to see Everything You Ever Loved rocket them to the forefront of the alternative world.
They have taken a step back to produce an introspective album that is moving far beyond the melodic post-hardcore energy which captivates us on first listen. The album is, at first, obviously quite good and a worthy follow-up to End Measured Mile; it is not until several listens down the road –not until you dissect the songs lyrically and emotionally– that the true power of this album really hits you.
With this evolution in lyricism comes an overall shift in sound and with that comes accessibility. This album has less of the awesomely angry punk of their debut but remains incredibly versatile. There are the parts that make you want to yell, parts that make you want to sing, and even parts that make you want to think. While the toned-down rock of Everything You Ever Loved had some fans cheekily wondering if this album would get them kicked out of “The Wave” (the inside joke group of MDAM, Touche Amore, La Dispute, Defeater, and Pianos Become The Teeth), this alteration in sound is a welcome change in the maturation of this ever-talented band. This is Make Do and Mend at their finest.
Don’t come at this album hoping for the raw and aggressive energy of their debut; its true strength lies in the moving songwriting of songs like “Desert Lily,” “Royal,” and “St. Anne.” Though, that’s not to say there isn’t also undeniable power behind tracks like “Blur,” “Lucky,” and “Drown In It.” Overall, the most beautiful thing about this album is that it manages to be amazingly passionate and evocative regardless of the tone or tempo of the song.
Upon first listen to singles “Lucky” and “Disassemble,” fans and critics alike were quick to throw out “radio-rock” accusations, with the Papa Roach comparison still being made on more than one YouTube video. After taking some time to listen to and appreciate the album, a more accurate comparison might be to Jimmy Eat World or perhaps likening lead singer James Carroll to Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. While these may not be the typical bands that fans of Rise (or even fans of End Measured Mile) would seek out, it shows how impressive this album is and how it is likely to solidify Make Do And Mend’s position in rock history.