Be Well might be a new name in the hardcore scene, but the members are definitely not. Vocalist Brian McTernan is also known as the producer of other hardcore bands like Circa Survive, Hot Water Music, Senses Fail, Thrice, etc., the list is truly endless. Other big names in the group are, Aaron Dalbec (Bass) from Bane, Mike Schleibaum (guitar) from Darkest Hour and Peter Tsouras (guitar) and Shane Johnson (drums), both from the band Fairweather. Now the supergroup released their first album together, The Weight And The Cost. The album revolves around emotions of feeling lost, hopeless and depressed. Hard topics but in The Weight And The Cost hardcore fans can find a new home, and in Be Well, they can find a new favorite band.
The album begins with “Meaningless Measures,” a fast-paced song filled with anxiety and the previously mentioned feeling of hopelessness. Second-guessing and self-doubt are a reoccurring theme, because like in real life, these thoughts won’t go away anytime soon. The vocals in “Magic” are full of emotions, and remind a little of The Color Morale. The harsh truth in the song hits hard and makes it hard not to feel a bit lost as well. “Strength For Breath” deals with a whole lot more self-doubt, anxiety in relationships and the fact the past can haunt people. The instruments are hard and breaking, while McTernan’s voice in a real hardcore manner is just emotionally screaming. It is worth looking up the lyrics because there is so much to discover and identify with.
“Tiny Little Pieces” is a perfect example of how depression can affect someone’s thoughts; the self-hatred that comes with it can really change someone’s view on life and themselves. The lyrics “I know that I’m loved, yet I feel so alone/ I hope I hope there’s a chance for me to learn/ To love myself a way that I don’t” express a haunting feeling many will know. “Morning Light” contains some elements that bands like The Architects perfected, aggressive while having feelings and fast, hard guitars mixed with hard vocals.
The title track “The Weight And The Cost” hit softer beats; it’s a raw and honest song about struggling with mental health and fatherhood. Many songs on this album seemed influenced by McTernan’s anxiety about being a bad father. “Each Passing Day” picks up the pace again and delivers another hardcore song. Songs like “Frozen,” “Aperture” and “Longing” continue the albums emotional journey, they are sincere and impactful. The last song “Confessional” was released earlier and highlights McTernan’s anxiety around fatherhood once again.
The Weight And The Cost is an exceptional debut album, it is so raw and honest, which makes it easier for the audience to find themselves in the songs. Having an emotional connection with the songs is one of the most essential elements of hardcore, and Be Well deliver it.