I admit, I do not get to crank out reviews like I used to. If I had it my way, I would quit my paying gig and do this full time, but the truth of the matter is that I do this for fun and not profit and I have bills to pay. 20-year-old me would kick my ass right now for even mentioning that. I sound like grandpa punk again…
I’ve been trying to find some time to write about one of my favorite albums of 2016 for the past month now. I am seriously stoked to have found some time tonight to do so. With that said, here we go.
Developing a Theory of Integrity by Brooklyn’s MakeWar immediately jumped to the top of my favorite albums the moment I heard the first song. I cannot get enough of this album and have been listening to it almost daily since it dropped on Red Scare Industries in September.
Side note: Not even two days after I heard the album, I learned that they were playing the final Dag House show in Cleveland (RIP DAG). As luck would have it, I had a free night and I booked it over to that historical home to see MakeWar do their thing in the basement and got to act like a fanboy afterwards who was short $1 when trying to buy their debut self-titled LP out of their van while they were literally trying to back out of the driveway to make a long ass drive to Omaha. Thanks Jose, I will pay you back that $1 next time you roll through town.
Originally an acoustic act called Sad and French, MakeWar took their songs to a new dynamic and turned themselves into a full fletched punk rock band that carries so many likable qualities from catchy hooks to relatable lyrical content. Don’t get me wrong, Sad and French were absolutely amazing, but plugging in the guitars and turning up those amps have MakeWar way more exciting to listen to.
As previously mentioned, opening track “Matador Pool Party” blew me away. There was so much going on with this track from the group singing to the Rancid/Face To Face reminiscing bass playing, brutal drumming, and lyrical content that just brought it all together perfectly.
“Ode” was just that, an ode to living life with booze in hand in NYC. I loved the line “fuck not drinking for a week” as I’ve said that in my heyday when having a rough week of celebrating but refused to give it up. I also loved the random thought process throughout the song that really could pertain to any city. This is about as real as a song gets with spirits raised high.
“DTFH” was another standout track that begged to be sung along to. Ironically this track reminded me in a sense of more upbeat Iron Chic who used to be on DTFH records. “Don’t Panic” resembled Taking Back Sunday’s earlier years in a good way.
“On Feelings” might have been the most emotional track on the album but not in a cowering sense. This track just make me happy for some reason and brought back some memories of great hangouts with great pals. “Sallie” was another amazing song on this album. I feel like I keep saying that, but it is true. There were a lot of songs of this album that caught my attention including this one that referenced the paying back of those stupid ass student loans.
“Distractions” was more technical like Strung Out. I really loved the change up of musical style on this track which clearly was the heaviest. “Dust” ended the album in a completely different style full of dismay and sorrow, but damn it was beautiful.
I can not say enough good things about MakeWar. If you are reading this, you need to at least check out the video for “Ode” below so you can see what got me so excited. If you dig like I do, snag the album. You will not be disappointed.
Visit MakeWar on Facebook and check them out live if you can.