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Maybeshewill- Not For The Wanting Of Trying revew


Maybeshewill: Not For Want of Trying

Date Released:

Label: Field Records

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Simon Jay Catling (14.05.08)

Since when did Leicester become the hotbed of all things post rock and instrumental? Her Name Is Calla are making ripples and are soon to be heading up to Leeds, where an undoubted increase in attention awaits them; and now we have the debut full length LP from four piece Maybeshewill. The band showed promise in 2006 with the EP Japanese Spy Transcripts- four tracks undoubtedly indebted to 65 Days Of Static but containing enough originality, pitch and emotion to hold their own unique sound. ‘The Paris Hilton Sex Tape’ makes another, re-recorded, appearance here as does a follow up to ‘He Films The Clouds’. Yet this is a group who’ve grown since then and whilst the glitchy, IDM influenced percussion and effects are still there, they’ve been allied by new sounds and greater expanse so as to provide a terrifically exciting, energetic and diverse album.

The quietly disarming introduction of ‘Ixnay On The Autoplay’ does little to prepare the listener for what is ahead, and is hence swiftly split apart by the atmospheric rumbling drums of ‘Seraphim & Cherubim’; a song that seems by its nature of full throttled riffs and ceaseless energy to be tailor made for a live setting. The ear searing guitars fall away however to be replaced by simple yet effective keyboards, before the two contrasting armies of sound come back together in a crashing crescendo of a finale. The redone ‘Paris Hilton Sex Tape’ comes with additional added muscle and an increased emphasis on a fuller sounding, heavier track. Its age does tell however in that it remains Maybeshewill’s most telling nod to their contemporaries taking in both Mogwai and 65 Days Of Static on its electronically charged, ear-bludgeoning three and a half minutes. In contrast ‘I’m In Awe Amadeus!’ fails to live up to its title, proving one of the weaker tracks as Maybeshewill opt to play it safe with a slow gurning melody hiding itself behind some overly frothy layering.

Form is regained though with the Slint-esque spiky brilliance of ‘We Called For An Ambulance But A Fire Engine Came’ that drills away at the brain in sharp, angry bursts; before a calm descends with soaring strings bringing giving respite. Indeed it’s in the quieter parts of this album that Maybeshewill manage to play their trump card: when shorn of the vacuum of sound building up behind them, the four piece opt for the simple options and intertwine them together instead of fidgeting around with unnecessary time changes or piano-wankery. Whilst it can mean subtlety goes out of the window, its effect is such that the calming beauty of its emotion shines through as strongly as any of their powerfully moving walls of sound. Then delightfully, during ‘Heartflusters’, we hear a most surprising but wonderful thing: vocals! And not just thrown in as an afterthought either. As John Helps asks ‘are you feeling the walls closing in?’ you can feel the wonderful juxtaposition to the uplifting, fragile music behind him- not unlike Thom Yorke’s solo title track ‘The Eraser’. Helps in fact provides an uncanny impersonation of the Radiohead man but just as the music appears to be drifting up towards somewhere untoward, the electric storm returns as the chanted refrain ‘stop, do not engage’ is submerged under a torrent of fuzz and glitch before ‘C.N.T.R.C.K.T’ roars into life with an unrelenting power and intensity.

In the consequence of all this, the final three tracks come across as an extended finale to the entire album. ‘He Films Clouds Pt. 2’ allows to bassist Tanya Byrne to take the lead on vocals after a suitably epic build up, as the piano and percussion build ominously behind her and the familiar hook from Japanese Spy Transcript’s ‘Pt. 1’ returns as a haunting presence. Title track ‘Not For Wanting Of Trying’ is something else though. The sound is of the group expending every last ounce of energy that they have, as though they’ve reached breaking point yet refuse to yield. Once again its simple but effective; raging metal gives way to isolated splendour, xylophones and, curiously, Peter Finch’s ‘Mad as Hell’ speech from Network. Readers may be aware that the already mentioned 65 Days Of Static have a collection of bootlegs floating round known as ‘Unreleased/Unreleasable’. Take the best of that, saw off the rough edges and what you get is ‘Not For The Wanting Of Trying’ which, even amidst such exhorted surroundings, comes across as nothing short of a masterpiece and is in effect the final track, short of the slow, winding down outro of ‘Takotsubo’.

Maybeshewill are a band with awesome potential; but what comes across from the above few sentences is that we’re dealing with an epic, sprawling, long haul of an album. Yet as the final strains of ‘Takotsubo’ fade out, the whole thing has clocked in at under forty minutes. The range of the pallet that they’ve created in this album is worthy of attention, that they fit it all into such a compact timeframe whilst losing none of their expanse and gravitas is nothing short of startling. In a year which has already seen a slew of stellar albums released right across the board, ‘Not For The Want Of Trying’ is an LP that rightly deserves it’s place right amongst them- daft song titles and all.

Maybeshewill - Not For Want Of Trying


Anonymous said...

This reviewer is very poorly informed and knows absolutely nothing about the band or album. Tanya Byrne is not in Maybeshewill. The vocals are from Jack Peachy and Rosie Leah Backen. Get it right.

Anonymous said...

I was about to say exactly the same thing If your goign to review an album at least get your fact correct.

Jarock said...

read "lesson learnt" post

rosie backen said...

what a lovely review. however, yeah it's not tanya, it's me!