Admittedly, I didn’t give The Weight and the Cost, the debut album from Be Well, enough of a chance. It was fine but didn’t entice me to give it more than a few listens. Hello Sun, their follow-up EP, caught my ear from the first note and has kept it through many repeated listens. This album sees the band, already masters of their individual craft (as a quick look at their resume confirms), come together and showcase their skills as a complete unit.
Be Well have all the great qualities of a melodic punk band. The songs are fast, catchy, and memorable. All six songs are compelling sing-alongs that near perfectly crafted. The energy in the songs is contagious, making me want to circle pit and fist fly throughout the house. The music is moving and emotional with relatable lyrical content (focusing on mental health). Brian McTernan strikes many chords with his words. The chorus to “In the Shadow of Who You Thought I Was,” the impeccable album closer, is hauntingly accurate and important:
“Depression is haunting and I’m not ok
Everything is going to be alright
Is just a thing people that don’t know say
I’m lost and worried and I feel afraid
Of all of the things that are inside my head
That I have been far too ashamed to say
But I want to get better, I want to change”
Be Well sound similar to Strike Anywhere. Listening to Hello Sun brought back nostalgic feelings of joy that I had back in 2001 when I first listened to Change is a Sound, which was an important album personally (to the point that I fondly remember the experience of buying and listening to it for the first time).
Be Well take influence from a lot of the bands that were integral to the early 2000s. In addition to Strike Anywhere, there are elements of Thrice, New Found Glory, American Nightmare, and Bane (I was trying to think of a band that didn’t also have Aaron Dalbec, but his contribution is obvious). Hello Sun brings back fond memories of that time period and watching these bands grow their fanbase. It makes me truly appreciate coming of age at that time.
Hello Sun clocks in at only 18 minutes, but they use that time wisely to craft memorable songs that will leave the listener yearning for more.