Brother, Sister – mewithoutYou ★★★½

2006Brother, SistermewithoutYou★★★½65RockAlternative RockIndie Rock

mewithoutYou brings together a nice mix of mid-2000s indie rock styles on Brother, Sister — garage rock, punk, post punk, art rock, some folk, some emo. 

I tended to enjoy the punk end of the spectrum here — especially the tracks in the middle of the album like “Wolf Am I!,” “A Glass Can Spill,” “Nice and Blue,” and “Sun and Moon” — which reminded me of Bloc Party, Interpol, Editors and Arctic Monkeys in bits and pieces. The more art-rock sections of the album also gave me some Arcade Fire vibes, especially the closing track. 

I don’t mean those comparisons to be a criticism, or as a way to say mewithoutYou sound like copycats, because they aren’t. The music came up at more or less the same time as those other bands, and it plays a part in the overall movement. 

I also appreciated that the album had a similar tone from start to finish, while continuing to vary up the sound. It didn’t all sound the same even though it had a consistent overall vibe.    

Although I wouldn’t say I disliked any songs on Brother, Sister, the spider-themed tracks and “O, Porcupine” didn’t quite do it for me. 

One thing that does grind a little, though, is Aaron Weiss’s voice and singing style. There’s plenty of great music with vocals that are more talking loudly than singing, so I get it and think it fits a lot of the songs here, but I didn’t feel like he was as dynamic of a personality as I want out of that kind of performance.

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