There is certainly a big crop of cool bands that play in and come out of Philadelphia, but there is a small portion of this field that really brings out feelings of Philadelphia pride when you see or hear of their successes.
Somewhere amongst the ranks of The Roots, cKy, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Ween, mewithoutYou have begun to dig their way into the exclusive group of pride-inspiring Philly bands with the release of their album [A_ B] Life, 12 tracks that play out like the by-products of a world affected by the fallout of At The Drive In.
Standing out most distinctly among the sounds on [A_ B] Life is lead singer Aaron Weiss’ style of half sung, half shouted delivery, which also happens to be amongst the key elements in mewithoutYou’s resemblance to the aforementioned El Paso legends At The Drive In.
Instrumentally, mewithoutYou’s influences are much more blended and indiscernible than Weiss’ vocals, none of which prevents them from creating consistently heavy grooves from start to finish on [A_ B] Life.
Much of [A_ B] Life’s lyrical content is an album spanning theme that focuses on the standard drama of relationships, only with the incorporation of God as a third party to the said relationship, playing a role that almost could be classified as the “other woman” in the male character’s life and providing solace from the simultaneously intolerable and still loved female character on the album.
Contrary to what most people would expect when being told that an album heavily incorporates God into its lyrics, [A_ B] Life does so in such a way that is neither preachy or distracting if your spiritual leanings happen to be different from those of mewithoutYou.
If anything, the inclusion of faith as an element in the relationship only helps to provide fresh angles from which mewithoutYou are able to address the common relationship problems we all go through and often hear so much about on records.
Whatever your feelings on spirituality, mewithoutYou succeeds as a band first and foremost by making a great record, one that Philadelphia can be proud of.