Not only a wish anyone grants in the days of Covid, Be Well is the strapping new punk supergroup from Boston. Formerly Bane, Be Well set out to recapture a sunny road-trip energy with their debut The Weight and The Cost.
August 21 marks the release of the hardcore outfit’s slab of tunes via Equal Vision and is quite a promising experience. In practicality, TWATC is one song over and over with slightly different drumbeats. It’s like if Lou Bega made a punk record. Everyone knows it would be Mambo Number Six Six Six but with changed lyrics.
If you are looking for an album that envelopes the rumble of the road and the freedom of wind in your hair, but don’t need to pay attention to nuance, Be Well can provide that. If you were looking for a brand-new sound or something fresh and original, you will have to look elsewhere.
It isn’t a bad album necessarily, but it isn’t astounding or entrancing to the listener. The vocals are energized, and the drumming is crisp and bright like an autumn morning at the peak of sunrise. The Weight and the Cost is void of dynamic, however. The opening track “Meaningless Measures” blurs with “Strength for Breath” and “Each Passing Day”. Only “Magic” lives up to its name with a catchy chorus and great guitar work. No virtuosity, no ballad, or key changes though. Only middle of the road tracks where each stop feels like a cornfield view instead of stretches of skyline. The title track doesn’t even feel inspired. It is more and more difficult to concoct a cohesive album that explodes out of the gate without being accused of being unoriginal. There are pockets of deep space that are uncharted, and musicians should use their craft to explore those realms. Hopefully the second attempt is sharper and gratifying, but the first impression is an “Ehh”, a shrug, and a “maybe”.
They say it takes your whole life to make your first record. Be Well’s debut already sounds like a sophomore slump. They also say it’s better to be loved or hated than forgotten. The Weight and the Cost is the musical version of walking into a room, only to not remember why you went in. The weight is zero gravity and the cost is roughly 40 minutes of your life dedicated to mediocrity.