I’m sure we can all agree this year can just move on already. As messed up as it has been for so many of us, there really have been some quality releases.
Where a bunch have caught my attention, not many have been nearly as raw and personal as the debut by Be Well.
Dropped in late August by Equal Vision Records, The Weight and The Cost is a melodic hardcore release filled with so much emotion and energy. Featuring members of Battery, Bane, Darkest Hour, and Fairweather, it was a no-brainer that I was going to enjoy this. After multiple listens though, I found myself relating with some of the struggle and mental anguish sung throughout while adoring the tunes that carried it along.
I think something worth mentioning is that the band is fronted by well-known record producer Brian McTernan who stepped away from his current gig to grab the mic and give it his all. With so many years of experience fabricating other’s music, it really came as no surprise how profound this release was.
“Meaningless Measures” started off the album without holding back musically and mentally. “I’ve lost track of the days, lost track of the ways that I fucked up everything. I’m not sure that I’ve learned anything I’m afraid” pulled hard on episodic memories of coming to terms with myself. Solid track that was likable, but extremely intense.
I swear that “Magic” honed in on personal arguments with oneself until the verge of discomforting solace. Grappling with defeat, I appreciated the slight suggestion of change at the end. This is the type of track people hear, relate to, and tend to not forget about..
“I hope there’s a chance for me to learn to love myself a way that I don’t” was a tough plea in “Tiny Little Pieces” that once again jolted back some memories of my own past. As if the music behind the lyrics were not already impressive enough, McTernan tossed in a personal battle seemingly thinned by attention from someone else. I knew this fight all too well once.
I’m a better person because of heartbreak. I say this after listening to “The Weight and The Cost” which brought back painful memories, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve let go of some of that hell I was encompassed in over the years. This track brought me back to some tough times to the verge I found myself cringing.
“Confessional” was so likable yet just brutal. Easily one of my favorite tracks on the album, it was not happiness at all. A departure, an apology, and well, the ending lyrics summed it up best with “there’s a storyline that is only in my head. I’ve spent half of my life wishing I was dead. If there is part of this that I shouldn’t have said, I’m sorry. To fix it I have to get back to the place it first started.”
At just over 35 minutes, this album was an impassioned masterpiece. It’s once you dig into those lyrics that you get hit hard with a once unavoidable reality for so many of us. I appreciated the hell out of that.
Be Well at first reminded me of a more polished Strike Anywhere, but with plenty of personal, emotional defects and small doses of PMA ultimately fueled with hardcore values. The more I listened to it though, it was clear how and why these artists came together and dropped this release. I have to admit, this album beat me up but I was impressed with it once I fought back some of those memories.