The Make Release New Album


The Make have been enjoying a pretty exciting career in recent months, and it’s easy to see why they’re getting a lot of buzz when I listen to their new work. These rockers never hide the fact that they come into the studio with their heart on their sleeve, but finding that perfect middle ground between open-chest poetry and sharp, hard-charging rock beats can be as much of a challenge as it has been for anyone in the game – the efforts we find in The Make Up Sessions notwithstanding, that is. In this new record, The Make isn’t sounding like a band that is still trying to figure out where they stand among the indie hierarchy, nor do they come across as players who are contemplating what kind of music they can and should be producing together.


There’s confidence dripping from the fretboard in “Another Lifetime” and lead single-worthy “Walk Away;” there’s a quaking emotional kick to “Wasted Time” and “Try a Little Harder.” We are never alone with our thoughts in this album, and the band wants it that way. They’re playing to the never-ending circus of self-doubt, angst, emotional discord, and outright youthful frustration that seems to last far longer than it should among members of our generation, and potentially making the one modern rock record that doesn’t feature an isolation theme in some form or another. 

The best part about songs like “Jones Street” and “Someone to Talk To” is that they don’t feel like they’ve come to us manufactured or cut from the same creative cloth as a lot of the previous material to enter the AOR universe, which isn’t to say that they lack continuity with their aesthetical predecessors. There’s just more rebelliousness in their style than what you’d hear from something that’s merely been rehashed and reheated from past studio sessions from other artists in this scene, and it becomes impossible for even the more novice critics to deny in tracks like “Wasted Time” and the record-starting “Jealous.”

Some of the verses in those two songs struck me as being particularly raw and deep-feeling, potentially more than any others this band’s peer group has recorded have been, and yet they don’t drown out the pleas of the other material here at all. This is collectively a well-put-together album, which started as two different EPs, and one that plays more like a complete work than it does a moderate sampler meant to pacify fans until a tour comes around.  


There’s more venom in everything from the vocals to the guitars you’re going to discover in this twelve-song tracklist than you will in some of the commercially bankrolled material emerging on the right side of the dial this season, but that’s not the main attraction in The Make Up Sessions. You might come for the surface-level fireworks, but I think most listeners are going to stick with this LP for the entirety of its length because of the humble tone with which the band addresses its audience from beginning to end. They’ve got nothing to hide here and everything to bear, making their expressiveness too unfiltered for a serious music lover to ignore.  

Trace Whittaker