This is the reissue of the first Maybeshewill album which is now sold out and includes the previously unreleased in the UK ‘Japanese Spy Transcript EP’.
Maybeshewill were formed in Leicester in the summer of 2006, and released their debut CDR EP 'Japanese Spy Transcript' in the autumn of the same year. Nottingham's Field Records stumbled across a copy of the record and asked them to be part of the first of a series of limited edition split singles, which was later to include such underground luminaries as Tired Irie, Cats & Cats & Cats, Public Relations Exercise and You Slut!. 'The Paris Hilton Sex Tape', taken from the bands debut was to form one side of the single, the other filled by Nottingham's Ann Arbor. The band toured in support of the release, culminating in a final show with Foals and Cats & Cats & Cats at London's Luminaire.
Towards the end of the year, Maybeshewill licensed 'Japanese Spy Transcript' in a special extended form to The Media Factory Group in Japan, who formed an entirely new label, Xtal Records, to accommodate the release. Xtal is now home to the likes of Yndi Halda, Caspian and You Slut!.
After an extended period of hiatus during 2007 the band have now completed recording of their debut full-length entitled 'Not For Want Of Trying', which was released in UK and European through Field Records and a Japanese release through Xtal in May of 2008. The album was completely self produced, with DIY ideals at the forefront of every step of the records production. Since the release of ‘Not For Want Of Trying’ Maybeshewill have Released a split 12" with Her Name Is Calla and the second album ‘Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony’ through Field and toured all over Europe and Japan.
BRITISH ELECTRO-ROCK DEBUT HINTS AT GREATNESS
Most bands couldn’t juggle the collective noise of Mogwai and Glassjaw without exploding. However, Leicester instrumentalists Maybeshewill make it sound easy as they lead you through a panoramic musical landscape of serrated riffs, atmospheric pianos, electronic blips and frenetic drum loops.
Admittedly, some of the best electro-rock ideas here aren’t strictly original but, with results this effective, it doesn’t matter. Don’t let plainly rediculous titles like Paris Hilton Sex Tape fool you, some of these songs are extremely quick to kick your teeth in when you least expect it
The diversity on this debut album is remarkable. There’s Sigur Rós-style sky-scraping. There’s 65daysofstatic’s aggression and love of glitching synths. And there’s even the odd dab of metal cribbed from Isis. By switching the styles, Maybeshewill keep you guessing and hooked into what’s coming next - the majestic, jangling riot of ‘I’m In Awe, Amadeus!’ segueing into the crunching power chords of ‘We Called For An Ambulance But A Fire Engine Came’, which dissipate into the delicate, vocal-led ‘Heartflusters’. There’s also the incredible title track: a flurry of guitar licks breaking down as an impassioned Come On Die Young-meets-Fight Club monologue takes over, driving the song towards anarchy.
All of this is incredibly easy on the ear, positioning Maybeshewill as a poppy alternative to post-rock bands that make you work your bollocks off just to be rewarded with a single nugget of prettiness or meaty riffage. We’ve all been there; we’ve all been impatient. Here, everything’s laid out for easy access and instant enjoyment, and you’ll be constantly coming back for more. This full-length introduction to what Maybeshewill can do signals the arrival of a compelling, fascinating talent.
Another massive success for Field in putting out yet more of the East Midlands prodigious musical talent. This immaculately produced and presented album from Leicester 4 piece is the latest in a long line of strong releases on the Field label which is rapidly forging its way to being a musical force to be reckoned with for its uncompromising house style and it's consistent quality.
'Not for want of trying' is a powerful and varied album of mainly instrumental tracks which flicker subtly between crunching guitars, film samples, bits of keyboard and programmed loops and massive drum parts. Despite some of the slightly post-rock song titles, Maybeshewill probably fit in more easily to an electro-industrial category. In addition there is plenty of mathy and techy guitar going on to mix things up.
After the initial looped prelude of 'Ixnay on the Autplay' you are hit by trilled and reverbed guitars of 'Seraphim and Cherubim' which crash monstrously into a stomach crunching guitar riff. It's heaviest is perfectly offset by the airy synth parts which drag the whole thing together and tie in the other clean keys. This is shit-kickingly good - like Ann Arbor at their finest.
There's plenty of keen instrumentation too. 'I'm in Awe, Amadeus' features the complex interweaving guitar sounds which Derby's You Slut! excel in. There's other local influences/similarities in abundance - great slabs of bluesey guitar form the cornerstone of tracks like 'C.N.T.R.C.K.T.' which could easily pass for Death of London or their precursors TEAM (albeit with Maybeshewill's delicate touch of electronics twisted in there.
Other stand out tracks must surely include the title track 'Not for Want of Trying' which first pounds you with humongous chords then fires a machine gun blast of guitar riffs at you before breaking way for the simple piano line overlaid with a poignant film sample - 'Well I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad!' And it sure sounds like the band do as they give our eardrums the full force of their impressive sonic barrage.
After a long miserable day at work, it's not very often that this hack slips on an album for the very first time on the tube journey home and immediately thinks, "Wow". The feat is even more remarkable when you take into account the fact that it's being listened to whilst being crammed in like cattle with our face pushed firmly into the sweaty armpit of a 50-something city worker with serious body odour issues.
Dealing in a brand of largely instrumental post-rock that's going to attract inevitable comparisons to scene big-hitters like Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky, in truth Maybeshewill are much more aligned to the wonderfully panoramic world of 65daysofstatic. Evidence of this comes by way of first track proper 'Seraphim & Cherubim', with its glitchy beats and elevating rhythms passing more than the odd resemblance to Sheffield's finest. However, that's not for one second to suggest the Leicester-based four-piece are hanging onto anyone else's coattails. Thanks to a quite brilliant self-done production job, Not for Want of Trying is a quite unique and utterly compelling listen from start to finish. From the driving metallic riffs of 'We Called For An Ambulance But A Fire Engine Came' and the savage guitars of the frantic title track, to the frankly gorgeous 'Heartflusters' and 'He Films The Clouds Pt. 2', this is highly disparate record that delights with its stunning array of moving moments and surprising left-turns.
Simply put, it may only be spring time, but with Not for Want of Trying Maybeshewill have just laid a strong claim for producing the best British debut album of the year. Astonishing stuff.
Maybeshewill has released a few EPs and Splits before, but Not for Want of Trying is their first full length. When I first listened to this album I was blown away. How can a band this good not get any of their albums released in the States?
Not for Want of Trying feels and sounds like a soundtrack to an unknown movie. The tone starts off with an almost two minute, mysterious instrumental piece. Just as the track ends we are treated to the first full length instrumental. Seraphim & Cherubim is an amazing track; I must have listened to it a million times already. This track is done so well, it goes from heavy, to a medium/mysterious tempo to a lovely piano solo to pure ecstasy.
If you haven't guessed by now this is an instrumental album with a few tracks with either minor vocals or spoken word clips. I can't express enough how wonderful this album is and I think it's great that Maybeshewill kept the vocal and spoken word parts to a minimum.
Fans of Dillinger Escape Plan will be jealous of the track We Called for an Ambulance but a Fire Engine Came. Remember when Calculating Infinity came out and we were all blown away? This tracks intro sounds like it was taken from that album, but instead of being a copycat the band turned it into their own Calculating Infinity track. The soothing sound of the piano in the middle of the track will only make you envious of the band.
The instrumentation on this album blew me away from the start. After my tenth listen to the album I was still mesmerized by the bands debut album. From the chimes in Heartflusters, to the hellacious drum solo in the beginning of Not for What of Trying, this album will amaze everyone!
I am in love with this album. If Not for Want of Trying was a movie soundtrack it would defiantly make that movie with an Oscar for best soundtrack. Do whatever you need to, just make sure you listen to this album, it's amazing.
9 out of 10
Review Busters Review (April 2008)