A blend of experimental rock structures, punky energy, spoken-word melodies, and Judeo-Christian content characterizes the output of mewithoutYou, a Philadelphia-based band that formed in 2001. Having grown up listening to Jawbox and Burning Airlines, brothers Aaron and Michael Weiss initially cut their hard rock teeth as frontmen of the Operation. After releasing an album with the help of Takehold Records, the Operation's members decided to launch a side project in order to experiment with new sounds. The Weiss brothers subsequently formed mewithoutYou with help from bassist Ray Tadeo, guitarist Christopher Kleinberg, and drummer Richard Mazzotta. Tooth & Nail was taken by the fiery five-piece's raw appeal and inked them a deal, with bassist Daniel Pishock replacing the departing Tadeo. The Operation disbanded shortly thereafter, allowing the musicians to focus their efforts on the new band.