The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path

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The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path
Ten Original-1.jpg
Studio album by The Early November
Released July 11, 2006 (2006-07-11)
Recorded February 28, 2005 - March 2006 at Portrait Recording Studio in Lincoln Park, New Jersey
Genre Emo,[1] indie rock[2]
Length 2:11:55
Label Drive-Thru
Producer Arthur Enders
Chris Badami
The Early November chronology
The Early November / I Am the Avalanche
The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path
In Currents
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating (83%) link
Allmusic 4/5 stars link

The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path is The Early November's second full-length album. The triple disc concept album was released on July 11, 2006 via Drive-Thru Records.


The recording of the album began on February 28, 2005 and took over a year until its completion due to the nature of a triple disc record, stress, Enders changing the concept of the story several times mid-record, and ultimately the lack of focus which led to a mid-recording nervous breakdown. This forced the album's release to be postponed from its original June 2005 street date to July 2006. The third disc, The Path, was written by Enders and Jeff Kummer, and co-produced by Enders. According to an interview with Enders on Episode 17 of the Voice & Verse Podcast, there were multiple versions of the story that were recorded and considered. Though the first version to be submitted to Drive-Thru Records was not immediately accepted, the label was supportive and asked that some changes and additional work be done. In the end, it was Enders and those artistically involved with writing and presenting the story who ultimately re-worked the story and its presentation multiple times before it became the final product, despite rumors that Drive-Thru Records had turned down the story seven times for quality control issues before finally approving it.

Ace Enders also did the artwork for The Mother, the Mechanic and the Path, drawing up a father in a mechanics uniform named Matt, a mother and a son named Dean, for the cover and booklet.

Music and lyrical content[edit]

The album is broken down into three chapters:

  • The Mechanic – the proclaimed "rock" disc of the album, showcasing the heavier side of the band. According to singer/guitarist Ace Enders, The Mechanic is the group's "safe bet", the album they would have made if it had only been one disc. It represents the technical progression from its predecessor The Room's Too Cold (2003), hence the title.
  • The Mother – a mostly unplugged effort in the vein of The Early November's The Acoustic EP (2003) and Enders' solo CD I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business (2004). The disc focuses on the band's mellow facet, featuring a more natural sound, conveyed by the use of predominantly acoustic instruments and few effects or filters.
  • The Path – an audio theatre of sorts, which mixes dialogue between a young man named Dean and his psychiatrist with soft background music. The psychiatry sessions that narrate the story are interrupted by short "musical"-esque songs, also introducing the interaction of other characters. The songs cover a wide range of musical genres, including blues, country and folk.


Once released, Drive-Thru Records made an effort to boost record sales with various promotion campaigns, bonus offers and price discounts. During the first weeks of sales, purchases of The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path from Best Buy were accompanied by a bonus DVD (containing the music video to "Hair" and a 35-minute making-of documentary), while Target customers were rewarded with an exclusive bonus track.

As of January 2007, the band has sold 78,669 copies of The Mother, the Mechanic, and the Path.[3]

Track listing[edit]

(all songs written by Ace Enders)

  • "No Good At Saying Sorry" has been rereleased under Ace Enders' side project, I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business, album titled "Dust'n Off The Ol' Guitar"