“I swear that I meant well. I swear that I cared.”
That’s a heavy weight to carry, an even more difficult stance to prove—but Vancouver’s own Parting Ways no doubt live up to their heartfelt message in each track through their 11-song journey, Meant Well, which was released October 10 on, unfortunately, no label to speak of.
The record opens so strongly and forcefully with the title track that it feels like a retort being delivered in a heated argument. It leaves you in shock and with a curiosity as to what comes next. More of the same? It can only be hoped for.
The debut release from Parting Ways shines from start to finish, addressing embattled partners through relived scenarios and rescinded promises, fraught with introspective struggles and regrets of things said … Or not said. If it were delivered in any other way, it might not be palatable, but the compassion and conviction in Cody Muraro’s voice put you squarely in the shoes of the person who is delivering the lines, thinking those thoughts, and reflecting on their actions.
We’re carried from track to track by melodies unbound and infectious, punctuated with aggressive screams for when the harmonies just can’t deliver the emotion in the words enough.
Charging forward, Parting Ways are a band that manage to mix the instrumentation of Propagandhi and Underoath, bringing life and a beautiful accompaniment to the retelling of scorned souls’ stories. The drumming is intricate, reserved when necessary, and thunderous when deserving. The pace set flips between blisteringly fast and a slow, syncopated swing to back the emotional tone wrought by the guitars and bass.
There is an instrumental track halfway through the record that really exemplifies the caliber of the musicianship in the band. There are no words necessary. The ability to convey the feelings through the sounds on “Ukiyo” make you wonder if you’d be alright with a sans-vocals version of the record based on how powerful each chord and snare hit feel.
“Frame me, put me in a box. The new word is I’m old news.”
A little hint for those wondering why the singer sounds so familiar? Cody is also in Pure Noise Records band Youth Fountain alongside singer/songwriter Tyler Zanon. In fact, you can hear his voice in “Sidestage.” The excerpt above, repeated in hypnotic fashion, sinks its teeth in to you with help from Tyler and a dozen other voices.
This is a must-listen record for anyone who is looking for a refreshing burst of aggressive, heartfelt music, in the vein of the aforementioned Youth Fountain, Underoath, and Capstan.