Yours For Mine
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Yours For Mine


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"Yours For Mine - Dear Children (9/10)"

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what type of music Yours for Mine has crafted in their debut release, Dear Children. Is it post-hardcore? Not really, though there are elements like intense screaming and heavy drumming. Is it experimental? I suppose you could say that since I’ve never heard an album where there will be growling one minute and then the next a beautiful saxaphone line kicks in and makes you double-check to see if you are still listening to the same album or even the same band. A saxa-ma-phone!!! How cool is that? So, is it progressive? It has it’s moments since most songs change a few times before the end, but that’s such a vague term I don’t think anyone knows what it really means. So what is it? I don’t know and as the album played through my humongous headphones (that I get made fun of for like I’m in the stone age) I realized I didn’t care either. It just works.

The growls and screams are good and varied enough to keep from getting boring. The singing vocals are what really stands out though. The beginning of ‘The Angry End’ is the best example of this. The opening guitars create an atmosphere in the first 45 seconds and then the vocal harmonies kick in very reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Then the horns come in and the smooth, passionate vocals build up to the addictive chorus.

Plus, there’s the added bonus of the spiritual lyrics that don’t preach to you but are still open and clear on where they come from. That’s another refreshing part since a lot of bands who play heavier music seem to be afraid to let their faith show. Not these guys, no sir. And even though they have a few more different sounds and instruments going on than the normal band, the songs don’t sound disjointed or unfocused in the least. Considering this is a debut album, that’s an accomplishment in itself and proves to me that these guys know how to craft music while having fun.

For what it’s worth, Yours for Mine have done something different to change up what’s becoming a tired genre. Not enough bands toying with the post-hardcore sound stand out from their peers and sometimes a breath of fresh air is needed. From the moment that beautiful saxaphone plays in ‘Absence in Elegance’ you get that whiff of fresh air and you’re hooked. Luckily enough, the rest of the album holds up strong and you may not be able to resist spinning it again as soon as it stops.

Gems of this album are: ‘Absence in Elegance’, ‘The Angry End’, ‘Native Tongue’, ‘Call Me Distant’ -

"Dear Children Review (88/100)"

It's hard to get famous. Every band knows this, and most of said bands don't deserve said fame.

This is not one of those bands.

Despite only having been together for four years, Virginia's Yours For Mine has all the confidence and cohesion of a much more experienced group. The fruits of their labor shines on their self-released debut Dear Children, a record the likes of which we haven't seen recently.

Kicking things off with a whisper that builds into a bang, the Introduction is electronic experimentation of the highest caliber – the band knows how to keep it brief while still getting their point (in this case, “We Need You Here”) across in an interesting fashion. Reminiscent of The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi, it segues right into “Absence In Elegance,” which manages to blend hard-hitting, sensible post-hardcore with more experimental instrumentation that stretches the limits of what you thought the genre could do without pushing them too far. The song borders on genius when it breaks for a sax solo three-quarters of the way through the song. Whether or not that's your particular cup of tea, it's more original and engaging than anything Thursday's done in years.

“My Tomorrow” continues this dichotomy of sensibility and experimentation with both balladry and hardcore emotion that drips out of the speakers and onto the floor. Singer Johnathan Woods’ scream is so raw and fraught with emotion that you can't help but feel the guy. The power in his voice makes Eron Bucharelli look like William Shatner - as he puts it, “If you can't feel this in your bones, I'm not going deep enough.” He's going plenty deep enough. It's simultaneously chilling and empowering how he's summing up the modern identity crisis: In a world where there is no real zeitgeist, it's great to see someone addressing the fact that we're all just looking for seemingly nonexistent answers to our lives.

The title track is an interesting interlude, combining a good level of ambient spaceclash with plain ol' layered narration. This leads right into the album's epic, “Call Me Distant.” It's not only the most experimental song on the album, but far and away the best. Its chants readily encourage listener participation, and its middle section recalls Kid A, which is always a compliment.

The musicianship is great – this is an incredibly cohesive group, and throughout the album they display both their proficiency and creativity. Woods’ voice isn't as developed as, say, Anthony Green's, nor is it as silky smooth as someone like Craig Owens', but it’s in his masterful vocal delivery that he sells his emotional fervor. His vocals aren't for everyone. They're raw and at times raspy, but they're nonetheless for those who have heart. Those who give this band a chance will be surprised in how they're rewarded.

The only major gripe I have with Dear Children is the inconsistencies in lyrics. They've left the most room for improvement in poorly-constructed fragments that don't really work. Some lines, such as “Depart for the front lines with lies in our eyes” work well, evoking imagery and passion. But lines like “Let's talk about this lack of relationship of who we are and what should we be?” and “You and me are like Halloween” are so painfully cringe-inducing that they distract from the music. The band's Christian agenda is certainly noticed, but doesn't distract from the music. The closing track is dedicated entirely to this message, ending the album with “We'll stay here / Oh Holy Spirit / We'll stay right here.” However, all in all, this is definitely an exciting album and an incredible debut. We can only wait to see where they go from here.

Recommended If You Like: Hawthorne Heights; Chiodos; The Fall of Troy; Circa Survive; Saosin; The Receiving End of Sirens -

""One Fine Debut""

"Yours For Mine have recorded one fine debut, which underlines the fact that, although they've only been together since 2006, they're seasoned musicians with years of experience together...Overall, Dear Children is a very diverse album of creativity that stretches itself beyond the norm of song dynamics (intensity and chill), teetering on exploding, but all without breaking - HM Magazine

"What the AP Staff is listening to"

"Sometimes I like nothing more than gathering half a dozen boom boxes and then simultaneously blasting Thrice, Every Time I Die, Dredg, some weird saxophone jazz, Circa Survive and The Dear Hunter. Thanks to Yours For Mine, I don't have to worry about all those extension cords. Dear Children is a loose amalgam of sounds reminiscent of each of these bands, but somehow manages to sound like nothing you've heard - AP Magazine

"Record deal, everything else falls in place for Yours For Mine"

Maybe it was the fact that they hang a bike helmet on a mic stand and hit it. Maybe because they’ve spent frigid nights on tour sleeping in a van. Maybe the group simply has that unique je ne sais quoi whenever they are together. Whatever it is, the uniqueness of Yours For Mine has recently landed the band another rarity — a record label.

In August, Harrisonburg-based band Yours For Mine signed with Blood & Ink Records for the release of their debut album, “Dear Children.” And ever since, it’s been full speed ahead.

“B&I fits us,” said Jonathan Woods, a founding member of the band. “They are basically hardcore metal, but they are also diversifying. They want to see us grow,” he said.

In the last five years, YFM has been doing just that. The band has evolved into an eclectic indie-rock style. But its beginnings were all acoustic.

That was when there were just two — Woods and his college friend, Chad [Altenberger]. By 2004, the two guys adopted a heavier sound with the addition of electric guitars, drummer Joey Testa and bassist Tyler Dowdy. Together, they called themselves Red Letter Days. The band lasted eight months before Dowdy left to attend school in Ohio. Rather than break up the entire group, Stephen Minnick replaced Dowdy and the band took on a new name — Yours For Mine.

The newly arranged group of four played together for about a year. Meanwhile, Woods was doing some informal musical moonlighting with another band. Benjamin Cooley was the guitarist and he had a style that immediately impressed Woods.

However, as the year wore on, both bands began to stagnate.

“My old band,” says Cooley, “we didn’t practice very often and we just felt burned out.”

It was 2006 and Testa, Woods, [Altenberger] and Minnick were also feeling “musically stuck.” When Cooley’s band split, Woods invited Cooley to join YFM and see what might happen.

That was when the group’s dynamic changed.

“Our music began to change, too,” said [Altenberger].

“We got a good grip on our sound and we [were] able to really grasp what we wanted to do,” said Woods.

“It began with using keyboard samples,” said [Altenberger]. “And we did more with three guitars than we could do before. The change of another member helped us come together,” he added.

“It was like the gears on a bike — everything just worked together,” said Woods.

Last summer, YFM began recording their songs in different sessions. To save money, they split their recording time at Dragonfly Studio in Haymarket and at Cooley’s house in Woodstock. A friend of the band, Caleb Keiter (at Dragonfly) gave the guys a deal on the engineering and helped them produce the album. But three weeks later, Keiter took a job in San Diego. With a long-distance engineer, Woods says the recording took a long time.

“[Keiter] could only do the mixes when he had time and a studio available,” he said.

Beyond that, YFM says it took a lot of effort to schedule their practices around their full-time jobs.

Woods is a network engineer at JMU. Cooley goes to school at Blue Ridge Community College and also works. Minnick is a screen printer in Harrisonburg and [Altenberger] works for a histology lab in Mount Jackson.

Despite their complicated schedules, they continued to tour and perform. The important thing was that they were touring and performing with some self-produced recordings already under their belt.

“[The labels] want to see you do the work so they know you can do it,” said Woods. “Unless they catch your act live, you’re just not going to be offered a label,” he added.

Ironically, a label did catch their live act.

Daniel White, a friend of Cooley’s brother, saw YFM perform at a couple of area concerts. At the time, he’d been working part-time for B&I. One night, he brought along the company’s public relations rep, Sean Patrick Rhorer. The rest, as they say, is history. White was hired full-time at B&I, Rhorer was impressed with the band, and YFM suddenly had a contract.

“We see it as a stepping stone,” said [Altenberger].

Other band members agree — it’s a stepping stone to getting their name out.

“We get mentioned in places like Alternative Press magazine, HM Magazine, Rock Sound (a UK magazine), radio stations and a variety of press,” Woods said.

YFM isn’t the first successful Harrisonburg band to land a label in recent years.

Engine Down and Darkest Hour also started in Harrisonburg but have since moved out of the area. YFM is still based in Harrisonburg.

“The five of us have become such good friends,” said [Altenberger]. “Even if we weren’t in a band, we’d still be hanging out.” - Rocktown Weekly (Daily News Record - Harrisonburg, VA)


"Dear Children" 2009 - Full Length (Blood & Ink Rec)

"Absence In Elegance" (song) - Radio circulation (FM/Online)



Although YOURS FOR MINE technically did not form until 2006, the five members of this Harrisonburg, Virginia band have been creating music together in various groups for much longer. This long-time familiarity with one another has helped to foster their tight-knit and focused approach to music that has most recently culminated in their debut full-length, Dear Children.

Often referring to themselves as "weekend warriors," YOURS FOR MINE have not let their hectic lives outside the band dissuade them from letting audiences hear their music across the country. Through numerous short tour stints, the band has ventured from New England to Texas and almost everywhere in between. This effective approach to touring has yielded wonderful results, both with a continually growing fan-base and a stability few bands achieve.