Maybeshewill - Sing the Word Hope in Four Part Harmony

Richard Wink 02/05/2009

Rating: 4/5

Right now is the right time to give a shit, it seems. The Enemy have taken it upon themselves to represent the working classes, Gallows see Britain as a dreary grey island full of lost hopes and broken dreams (they obviously haven't been watching Britain's Got Talent!). Bleakness is upon us, unemployment is rising, the current Government has failed and the likely succeeding Tory government seems to be equally incompetent, there is a worldwide economic crisis and seemingly in the 24 hour media haze there is nowhere to hide, no opportunity to escape the bad news. Maybeshewill are another band bemoaning the state of things, though they do so with far more grace then the two bands I have already mentioned; they make their point without the need of a gobby rent a quote vocalist.

I suppose it is difficult to listen to another band cobble together a manifesto which is little better than sixth form political rhetoric, fused with a half-arsed Charlie Brooker style rant. Still it's easier to be cynical, and if you were to use the Ian Mackaye defence you would retort “At least I'm fuckin' trying / What the fuck have you done?”

Starting with the last track, that shares its title with the album Sing The Word Hope in Four Part Harmony combines a spoken word diatribe that sounds off on consumerism, consumption and the apathetic youth of today that seemingly unable to appreciate what they've got over a lush bed of sterling piano-led rock. The song itself is quite different to the rest of the album, and a reflective moment to leave the listener with something not only to chew over in their tiny little minds, but maybe a call to take action, and responsibility.

Rumbling purveyors of instrumental bliss and carnage Maybeshewill present a rather wonderful soundscape, that though influenced heavily by 65daysofstatic, there are moments that also bring to mind Mogwai and Don Caballero, though the band are more orthodox when it comes to metal riffs and on Last Time This Year they drop a menacing hardcore breakdown. A post apocalyptic bell toll of crushing brutality and serene electronic piano.

It is when Maybeshewill open up ferociously on the epic Co-Conspirators that they become almost Thrice like. The crisp compositions reinforce that everything on this album is far more polished production wise, and a step up from the more industrial sounding From Not For Want Of Trying. The heaviest tracks such as This Time Last Year and How To Have Sex With A Ghost combine ravaging riffs with real technical proficiency, and importantly they enforce the strong message that writhes along in the tormented undercurrent that bubbles nefariously throughout this record, the toil of frustration and anger.

Maybeshewill deliver a disorientating listen, showcasing their virtuosity as musicians. The beckoning finger of bad deeds will almost certainly point at the band and may ask “Why don't you get a singer?” And whilst it takes a few listens to get past that there is going to be no emotional screams or cooing melodic cries, the absence of a vocalist in no way hampers what is a rather potent album.