Between The Wars – Won’t Go Quietly Review

BTW won't go quietlyBack in January, I had the privilege to ask Jay from Between The Wars some questions of their upcoming release Won’t Go Quietly. If you have not read it (or want a refresher) you can find my post here. Last week, Between The Wars posted the full album on SoundCloud to give their fans a taste and encourage them to pre-order. I will tell you know, go pre-order it, you won’t be disappointed! BTW continues with their great story telling in melody, their sound is more edgy, but the feel is definitely still BTW – old fans won’t begrudge the sound change and new fans can go back to their older stuff and appreciate it. One of my favorite facets with these guys, and has been from the beginning is how the tempo and feel of the music does not always match the lyrics so if you are listening to the music in the background, just enjoying the feel and having fun, when do you pay attention to the lyrics you are blown away by the depth and feeling.

To start the album out is “Worst Enemy”, it is easily identifiable as a BTW song, though the vocals are more gravely, the music is harder and gives you a great promise of what is to come and was quickly one of my top picks on the album. “My Seafaring Home” follows up with a song with quick lyrics  and music that had me taping on my desk all week. “Goodnight Sweetheart” is the story of war-torn England and the blackouts. The fiddle work is exquisite and the pacing of the song fun though the subject matter is not fun. This song has really been growing on me with its depth. Speaking of depth, “First Train Out” is one of those songs that I referred to earlier, that it is on the surface an enjoyable song, then you get beyond its surface and the story of the song is incredible and melancholy. Appropriately, the next song up is “Afraid of Death” which was an early top song for me. The spirit of the song driven by the vocals and music, and again the great fiddle work make for a great tune. “Oh Penny!” is the lightest song on the album and the song is about past love moved on. The song is fast, you want to clap along with and sing out “Oh Penny!” Again this song tells a story, from the early stages of infatuation through the loss his love to someone else. “I’ll Dance On Your Grave, Mrs. Thatcher” is a political song by John McCullagh and features him on the song. I can see why BTW would want to include this song – it follows along with their MO of great storytelling put to music regarding striking miners. This is the hardest rocking songs on the album and their conveyance of the anger is fantastic. “I Won’t Ever Get Between My Woman and Her Whiskey Anymore” is more country feeling, and perhaps the greatest departure from previous BTW songs. It features some great tempo changes and once again, their new fiddle player steals the show of the song. “Rural Juror” brings the pace down to a song that has the music to match the lyrics, making it more poignant and thoughtful. “Ever Present Storm” brings the pace back up with a haunting tune of revenge with some brief guitar work reminiscent of spaghetti westerns. “A Sailor’s Lament” is a song that starts out slowly, with vocals and the sounds of water in the background before ramping up a bit, then at the 3 minute mark it ramps up again. Finishing out the album is “Frustrated From Berwick”, a song for those who chose for whatever reason of doing nothing instead of standing up for what they believe in. The song is catching not really in a fast way but through the repetition to drive home the point.

For new and old Between The Wars fans, this is one for your collections. In their interview they talked about how they enjoy telling stories with their songs and this album clearly shows that (along with their past works) and the skill they are able to craft music that belies the words of the song, so you actually have to listen, is what, to me anyway, really enjoyable about BTW. You have to think to actually get some of their songs and this world needs more people to think and not be sheep. To me that is the great thing about punk – don’t be a sheep, be who you are regardless of who the sheep want you be. So I’ve got my pre-order in, do you?

Track listing:

  1. Worst Enemy
  2. My Seafaring Home
  3. Goodnight Sweetheart
  4. First Train Out
  5. Afraid of Death
  6. Oh Penny!
  7. I’ll Dance On Your Grave, Mrs. Thatcher
  8. I Won’t Ever Get Between My Woman and Her Whiskey Anymore
  9. Rural Juror
  10. Ever Present Storm
  11. A Sailor’s Lament
  12. Frustrated From Berwick

Slainte!

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