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Catch for Us the Foxes

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Oct
Catch for Us the Foxes
Sounds like … the militant indie stylings of Interpol and Joy Division, with shades of the Cure, At the Drive-In, and the Mars VoltaAt a glance … much more mature than their debut, this is poetry set to music, an exceptional example of what happens when indie rock collides with faithTrack ListingTorches TogetherJanuary 1979Tie Me Up! Untie Me!LeafDisaster TourismSeven SistersThe SovietPaper HangerMy Exit, UnfairFour Word Letter (Pt. Two)CarouselsSon of a Widow

When what you long for is union with the one you love, the thought of foxes damaging your vineyard can disrupt your devotion. Make what you will of this allusion to Song of Solomon 2:15, but Catch for Us the Foxes, mewithoutYou's sophomore effort, is as intriguing as it is enrapturing.

Hardcore neophytes reticent to give this album a chance will rejoice that this really isn't a hardcore record.? For one, frontman Aaron Weiss is more a poet than he is a singer or a screamer, syncopating his stream-of-conscience verses atop the band's textured sonics.? Unlike the debut, he takes a more melodic approach in his wailing—if such a thing is possible—with a subtle spoken-word urgency that makes him sound more like an apocalyptic street preacher than an indie rock vocalist. The guy is versatile: at times he reminds of the Cure's Robert Smith at his fiercest, particularly in the call for unity "Torches Together," but on occasion he'll take on a more conversational tone, not unlike Cedric Bixler of the Mars Volta ("Tie Me Up! Untie Me!").

Musically, mewithoutYou wear their influences freely, with a penchant for bassy New York post-punk a la Interpol ("January 1979," "Seven Sisters") plus a bit of the tortured rawness of Joy Division ("The Soviet"). Each arrangement is constructed carefully, with as much thought going into the structural cohesion of the tracks as into the apparent unpredictability of the compositions—tempo shifts, key changes, and multiple movements are common in many of the songs.

If you want an album that's outside the box but still relatable, Catch for Us the Foxes does the trick. Artful without succumbing to highbrow pretensions, it's one of the best albums Tooth & Nail has released in 2004.