It’s taken three years but finally, Make Do And Mend plaster us with Don’t Be Long – an album that feels like an organic and melodic composition for a band that wants to move on from the rugged, throaty outlook of the past, but without discarding what made them who they are today. It’s a great middle ground in fact, as it’s aggressive, catchy at parts but still rough enough to roll with everything else in the MDAM catalog.
End Measured Mile is the litmus test when it comes to this band. You stack up to it or you don’t. Thankfully, they’ve never withered away from it. Don’t Be Long is much more toned down yet still right up their post-hardcore alley. This album’s reminiscent actually of what Touche Amore did with a more mainstream and accessible series of anthems in 2013’s Is Survived By. Cutting solos, jaded distortions on the pedals and crisp, cracking kitwork open up the title track to signal MDAM’s intent. James Carrol’s vocals are steady with emotion throughout yet still hoarse and longing to reach. His passion never wavers and it’s another great display from him.
They lower the tempo on “Sin Amor” and “Sin Miedo” to bring out a much bigger storytelling tapestry and it’s in these tracks, we see how best they shape things. It’s a welcomed shift and a great change of pace. Much more radio-friendly but still primed for underground moshing sessions. As the acoustic “I Don’t Wonder At All” unwinds the closing segments of the album, it’s very apparent that MDAM are all about progression and evolution. Sonically, they’ve outdone themselves without trying too hard. Their musicianship continues to be telling and as far as Don’t Be Long goes, it’s definitely one that takes the best of both worlds – the old and the new – and melds them quite well. The wait was no doubt, worth it.