MakeWar – self-titled

Make War - s/t

Make War – s/t

By reveling in sentimentality and shamelessly flirting with regret, MakeWar’s breakup-inspired self-titled LP briefly finds the sound of resilience. The find is more than a happy accident  – MakeWar commits to making this moment. Second track – “Just Listen To The Songs” – petitions, “Listen to the songs when you get some time / The songs will always make me remember about the pretty girl that loved me so tender / The song is just trying to let you know about the time I promised you I would never ever let you go.”

The album is full of handy hooks and remembrances of stolen kisses and shared moments under the stars. This makes for a very pop-friendly album. But, as with most good pop albums, the music is more than just the songs. MakeWar plays punk rock with emo leanings. One of the best musical demonstrations on the album is  “Shorter Days And Longer Nights.” The stand-out in this track is the guitar playing and tone. The chords positively bristle. Meanwhile, the cymbals shimmer before the drums start stepping on your heels. The vocals on this track do nothing for me, but the music sounds fine.

Until Recently, MakeWar, a three-piece from Brooklyn, New York, were known as Sad And French, an acoustic act. You can hear these acoustic roots on several tracks, like “When The Poison Flows” and “Another Way To Let You Go.” These roots may explain why MakeWar is so adept at achieving dynamics, moving between quiet and loud.

Such is the case with “Sweet Little Nightmares.” Strumming, the song begins dolefully, “And it’s funny how things turned out / It almost took me by surprise / But I remember your old lovers, and maybe, call me crazy, but I think this was just part of your plan,” then, cathartically crashing, “And I hope that you get what you fuckin’ deserve.”

The album’s sad-sack indulgence is youthful, but a battle-hardened spirit floats Make War’s songwriting above that of the band’s peers. To my surprise, MakeWar’s eponymous LP – essentially a power-pop album – grew on me. Guess it is funny how things turned out. It almost took me by surprise.

Black Numbers

MakeWar has toured with bands like I Am The Avalanche, Banner Pilot, The Flatliners, and The Holy Mess. The band is planning a Fall US and European tour as well as a new full-length, expected to be released late 2015/early 2016.