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Show Preview: mewithoutYou's A->B Life Turns 15, We Celebrate

Few bands are able to transition from heaviness to subtlety, sledgehammer sound to ambience, the way that mewithoutYou has managed. Over the course of 15 or so years, this post-hardcore/post-rock band has gone from overwhelmingly abrasive to downright weird to both, somehow, at the same time. And, somehow, they’ve remained absolutely true to themselves the entire time.

With this tour - which brings them to town with post-hardcore titans Pianos Become The Teeth and relative newcomers, Strawberry Girls - mewithoutYou brings everything full circle as they celebrate the 15th anniversary of their now legendary debut, A->B Life. An angular hardcore-tinged album very much of its time, it introduced mewithoutYou’s penchant for odd melodies, jagged guitar lines, and shouts-speak-yell vocals. While their follow-up, Catch For Us the Foxes, would lean heavy on melody and ambience and prove to be a treasure trove of poetic lyricism, their debut thrust the band into heavier circles with which they are still, to this day, sometimes associated. Their music, however, has remained heavy emotionally speaking, and even at their most bizarre, there’s a weight to it.

As they have progressed, mewithoutYou has moved further and further away from where they started, only showing those aggressive tendencies in a measured, well-orchestrated way. Knowing they’ll be playing most, if not all, of A->B Life this Sunday at Southgate House Revival, I can’t help but wonder how it will all play out.

Either a great sense of humor or an odd bit of Universe directed symmetry brings Pianos Become the Teeth back to the Cincinnati area as direct support. As mewithoutYou looks back at the last 15 years, PBTT find themselves looking to the future. With the release of their last album, Keep You, they shed the skin of a thrashy, post-hardcore “screamo” band, instead slowing down and drawing emotion from quiet, more pensive moments. It was a jarring transition, but one that ultimately proved to be more cathartic than the most intense breakdown. Having recorded new material recently, I’m sure there will be a preview or two of something unheard before the night ends. I, for one, am incredibly excited by that prospect.

mewithoutYou celebrates the 15th anniversary of their debut, A->B Life, Pianos Become the Teeth brings a well-rested and fresh perspective to the stage, and Strawberry Girls get the whole thing started this Sunday night at Southgate House Revival. Let’s get rowdy.

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