Make Do And Mend – Don’t Be Long

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but that methodology has worked for me in the past (think The Hotelier) so I didn’t see any harm in going into the new Make Do And Mend album with high expectations based entirely on the great double meaning title, “Don’t Be Long”. This was a mistake, the album is far from the masterpiece that the title may suggest.

Listening to any one song on the album in isolation is fine, the songs sound good, they are enjoyable when mixed in a shuffle among other songs to break them up, you even find yourself passionately singing along to some sections. BUT put them together and try to listen to the album from start to finish in one sitting and eh, there’s just no… substance?

I formed most of my opinions on this album while driving up and down the freeway with it the record pumping and this could have impacted how focused and drawn into the album I was, I’m not sure. Trying to listen to the album song by song and decide where the high points of the album were I found myself totally zoning out from the album and tuning back in only from time to time when particular songs or sections of songs grabbed my attention.

The majority of the album sounds the same, James primarily uses his raspy yelling/screaming voice which on previous releases was used to add passion and feeling to important sections of songs. Now overused, it seemingly takes the passion away from almost all songs. His wonderful clean vocals which are capable of conveying emotions in a way that most bands only dream of are largely missing from the album.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly some great songs on the album, and some songs I thoroughly enjoy. The problem is that they are similar, not only to each other, but to the stand out songs on MDAM’s previous album “Everything You Ever Loved”. These songs, namely: “Each Of Us”, “Sanctimony” and “Sin Armor” are the few on the album that mix in clean vocals with the raspy vocals in a way that actually adds to the song enough to really bring out the emotion in the way the band intends and provide glimpses of what Make Do And Mend are capable of. But when they are compared to older songs “Hide Away”,”Storrow”, and “Blur” you realise they are not quite as unique as they seem on the album.

All of this is fine if you Make Do And Mend is your favourite band, and Everything You Ever Loved is your favourite album, essentially you have a second part to the album and you will love it. It becomes a problem when you were hoping for some progression from a band with so much potential.

I am aware this review has largely been negative and some may see it as unfairly so, but it stems from a vision of their potential, rather than a hatred of the album. Make Do And Mend are far from hopeless moving forward; they still have a massive potential to take the scene by storm and explode in popularity, but it’s not going to happen off this album, and it’s not going to happen without some progression. I should probably also mention that I wasn’t sold on Everything You Ever Loved when it first dropped, but it has really grown on me over the last few years and there is no saying that this album won’t do the same.

Ultimately, I think this was the album that could have really put MDAM on the map and opened up an entirely new fan base, but they have failed to raise the bar. The band remains a co-headline band suited for tours with the likes of Touche Amore, The Menzingers and The Smith Street Band, still seemingly just out of reach of becoming a headline band in their own right.


Matt Power
19 April 2015

Full Disclosure

Feeling Good
Drinking Coopers Green (x3)
Recent Listening Laura Mardon
How I Listened Car

Make Do And Mend Don't Be Long

Artist Make Do And Mend
Album Don’t Be Long
Released 24 Feb 2015
Label Rise Records
Tracks 11
Run Time 40 minutes
Genre Post Hardcore/Pop Punk

Make Do And Mend Don't Be Long