The Make - This Box EP
Record Label - Suspended Sunrise Recordings
Release Date - July 19th, 2011
When Jeff Schneeweis began releasing free songs via Twitter earlier this Spring, fans of his previous work with Number One Gun took notice, and were begging for more. They weren't disappointed when soon after, it was announced that he was teaming up with former Number One Gun bandmate Trevor Sellers and Sarah Ann of See You Soon to form The Make. When word got around that The Make was backed by Aaron Rodgers' record label, Suspended Sunrise Recordings, the band started to garner a lot of attention, without even having released any music yet. With the release of This Box EP, Schneeweis & Co. are giving us a glimpse at the type of quality pop-rock we can expect from them in the future.
For being a five song EP, This Box's sound actually varies a decent amount. Anytime the word pop is used to classify a band there is always the danger that people will make assumptions about their style or sound, but The Make are doing pop music the right way. Each song is a genuinely quality, well-written song, and The Make executes each one excellently.
One of the things that first sticks out as a strength of this band is Schneeweis' vocals. The first song, "Get It," has him hitting impressively high notes in the bridge. The song starts out with catchy guitar riffs during the verses, and dual vocals from Schneeweis and Ann during the chorus. This slowly builds up to the bridge where Schneeweis' 'oohs' and 'aahs' float over a bouncy rhythm guitars and his own powerful lead vocals. When you throw in a small piano part and a few hand claps, it makes you want to turn this song on repeat to listen to over and over again.
After this huge album opener, The Make slows it down a little bit with the next few tracks. "This Box" is a semi-upbeat song that starts out with an almost John Mayer-esque acoustic guitar part that sets the feel for the rest of the track. The song is about friends and growing older. The lines "Just stay the hell away from us, 'cause we're dangerous," and "I don't wanna go back, I'll just run with my friends and live," bring back memories of days past and feeling invincible. With the song "Color," it seems like the band went with a less-is-more approach. With its simple guitar parts, mellow beat, and subtle harmonies, it makes for a beautiful love song.
This leads into what many will consider the best song on This Box, "Spin City." The production of this track brings all of The Make's strengths to the forefront, throwing them together masterfully to create a monster of a song. Everything that this band does well is exemplified in this track, and while listening to it you are able to fully realize the ability that this crew has to write massive pop-rock songs. The high point of This Box comes near the end of this track, when Schneeweis powerfully delivers the line, 'Nothing, can seperate you from me!' over and over until the song fades out. The entire band is playing with such a sense of urgency for this stretch that it makes it one of the most memorable outros to song in recent memory.
The Make closes the EP just as solidly as they opened it, with "Bad." With accessible melodies and catchy instrumentation, it follows the trend of the previous four songs in that it will have fans singing along with ease. This ability to catch your ear on the first listen and still have it after the 40th is what makes This Box a great EP. The Make not only live up to expectations, but surpass them. The inevitable question now will be, 'How long will fans have to wait for more music from The Make?' Whether it's two months or two years, these five songs have more than enough appeal to hold fans over for the time being.