Maybeshewill - Having released their debut LP ‘Not For Want Of Trying’ only a month earlier, Maybeshewill returned to the UK from their sell-out Japanese tour to find themselves a man down and short of a bassist. Other bands may have taken stock of their achievements thus far and called it a day, but this foursome are used to taking everything that life throws at them. The three remaining members - James Collins (drums) John Helps (guitar) and Robin Southby (guitar) were joined by Victoria Sztuka (bass) and immediately began work writing and self-recording the pair of tracks which make up their half of this record in their usual DIY style.
‘This Time Last Year’ and ‘Last Time This Year’ mark the end of an era for Maybeshewill. Having toured the world promoting a record they were never entirely happy with, but which received wide-spread critical acclaim, they want to draw a line under their past efforts and make headway with new material. These two tracks are intentionally heavier than previous efforts, and although they are the culmination of the bands three years of making music together, they’re not necessarily an indication of things to come
Her Name Is Calla - 'Condor & River' is the title of the 17-minute opus by Her Name is Calla. Originally self-released by the band in 2007 and hand-packaged in corrugated cardboard, it sold out quickly and was very well received by the media and fans alike. A much sought after collector’s item, the original recording is now re-released onto vinyl through Field records as a split with the bands friends, Maybeshewill.
Following on from the success of the bands recent mini album, ‘The Heritage’, ‘Condor and River’ is available during the interim before Her Name is Calla’s full length debut due in 2009.
Nothing ever seems to pan out simply for Maybeshewill. Given the troubles that befell that band prior to the release of their debut album Not for Want of Trying, the Leicester-based outfit returned from their recent hotly-anticipated sell-out Japanese tour a man down. So, just when you think Maybeshewill might have finally run out of gas, what do they go and do?
Yep, they come up with two of their finest offerings yet, the gloriously life-affirming 'This Time Last Year' and 'Last Time This Year'. But this split release is far from all about Maybeshewill. While lesser bands would have been overshadowed by two such magnificent offerings, Her Name Is Calla are another band making waves thanks to their stunning mini-album The Heritage. Originally self-released back in 2007, 17-minute opus 'Condor & River' is about as ambitious and epic a track as you're likely to hear for some time, thrillingly taking off at the five minute mark before veering in all manner of intriguing directions.
Right now Maybeshewill and Her Name Is Calla are two of the country's best kept secrets. This split 12" should ensure that changes matters sooner rather than later.
It must be Christmas come early. Two Leicester bands, who between them are responsible for two of the most promising releases of 2008, coming together to give us half an hour of instrumental joy Maybeshewill, 'fresh' from releasing their debut album (Not For Want Of Trying), jaunting off to Japan, losing and gaining a bassist, and now currently in the middle of a tour with Northern Ireland's finest, …And So I Watch You From Afar, have somehow found time to write and self-record (as always) two tracks for this split single.
Because of the short time between the release of NFWOT and writing this pair, you may expect them to be quite similar to their album. Well, you wouldn't be wrong…you just wouldn't be right, either. While just as melodic, they are considerably heavier - certainly not a bad thing. They share enough with the band's past output to be instantly recognisable, but they just wouldn't sit comfortably alongside anything on their previous releases, except possibly the title track on their LP. Track 1, 'This Time Last Year', has some similarities to that, such as the heavy intro ultimately giving way to a pool of calm guitar. There's even a film sample in there, this time from I ♥ Huckabees. Their second track, cunningly titled 'Last Time This Year', moves further from the ground the band occupied with their earlier work. Interestingly they seem to have used this release as a way to set aside what has come before and strike out for musical pastures new. And the future looks good.
'Condor & River', Her Name Is Calla's contribution to this split, was originally self-released by the band in July last year as a two track EP to a good critical reception. It is a fine example of Calla's craft, with expertly constructed dynamics allowing the first half of the track (i.e. the first track) to continuously flow into the listener's mind, slowly building in the intro before a sense of urgency infiltrates, propelling it onwards towards a brutal guitar assault before winding down to a conclusion. The briefest of brief pauses announces the second half, again starting gently and continuing in a very similar vein to the first track.
This one is Calla doing what they do best, though, soothing the listener from start to end, every chord and every lyric measured for purpose. You could read into this as much or as little as you like, even contradictory concepts - hope accompanies despair; dark side by side with light. Calla are shortly to go on hiatus for some time, so the release of their debut album will now be even longer-awaited. In the meantime, however, this is a fantastic piece of music to leave us with.
Maybeshewill / Her Name is Calla 'split' (field). A killer head to head it should be said featuring as the accompanying press release rightly notes 'two of the most original bands in Britain at this moment'. this titanic twinning showcases the individual talents of Maybeshewill and Her Name is Calla spread across three tracks (the former getting two bites the latter being represented by a solitary affair) all pressed on twelve impending inches of wax. I think I'm fairly safe in saying that we haven't had the pleasure of Maybeshewill featuring previously in these pages and for that we are mightily embarrassed. Already the proud parents of a recently released debut full length in the shape of 'not for want of trying' (a copy of which we'll have to nail before we get any older) both 'this time last year' and 'last time this year' are newly recorded tracks specially commissioned for this release and marks in some respects a new dawn for Maybeshewill following the departure of their bassist following a recent Japanese tour and the in-band dissatisfaction with the aforementioned album. Availing themselves with two momentously contrasting cuts a kind of becoming bad cop good cop routine if you like the tempestuous 'this time last year' is an unflinchingly brutal powerhouse of a cut, a ravaging feast of looming large grizzled doom struck tension interspersed by moments of sedately drawn twinkling clarity caught amid torrential downpours of blistering cranium crunching eruptions, both brooding and bracing it provides a seismic late 90's Constellation styled apocalyptic halfway house between San Lorenzo and godspeed you black emperor. Located amid the more gritted and intensely burnt dream woven moments of the post rock cosmos 'last time this year' finds itself bathed in a searing symphony of sky piercing fury decoded with ad hoc angulated time signatures though scratch away at the surface brittleness and you'll be endeared by the weaves of beautifully optimistic underlays of sweetly calibrated softly euphoric key canters. A bit of a gem if you ask me. Of course Her Name is Calla should be familiar to the most casual visitors of these pages given that we've been on their case from pretty much day one. A plethora of limited self released outings under their collective belts, these days they've settled down and found a loving home courtesy of Gizeh records in the meantime releasing upon the nation a frankly immense debut mini album entitled 'the heritage' - itself serving as a taking stock stop gap while they nail down what will be their official full length ('The Quiet Lamb') due to hit the streets early next year. 'Condor and River' initially found its way into the record collections of a select but in tuned cognoscenti last year when it was released through Gizeh's nursery label Loom in limited quantities of hand crafted packaging (see missive 124), a brooding though utterly beautiful 17 minute epic that perfectly frames their now trademark slow / fast - loud / quiet dynamic to its full turbulent potential. As previously noted imagine Floyd covering something in the vein of Young's 'Cortez the Killer' with a battle scarred and abandoned of hope Thom Yorke applying the hurtful pressure points leaving Roy Montgomery to navigate and weave the attending colossal pieces into a glorious storm ravaged and emotionally consuming aural tableaux - between the three interloping movements within (the storm coming / the storm itself and the calm after the storm as were) you're dragged literally through a range of moods though it's the church like stillness and neutered elegance that takes prominence from 8 minutes in that literally serves to clout the living daylights out of you and have you breathlessly humbled at its hollowed beauty. A tragically tormented tearjerker if ever we heard one.
MAYBESHEWILL / HER NAME IS CALLA – split single (Field) – Two tracks from Maybeshewill and one from Her Name... Maybeshewill are starting to evolve, their 65Days style glitchy post rock is starting to take on a character and the ambition that was maybe missing in previous times. Still very much an established post-rock style and an Explosions/65Days thing and still very much that nice euphoric thing, just something a little more developing now. Her Name Is Calla’s contribution is their expressive mood-switching seventeen minute epic Condor & River – a moody emotional slowly uncoiling tour de force of a piece that really is something to behold.