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Music Review

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No Feeling is Final


Artist: Maybeshewill
Label: The Robot Needs Home Collective Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 19 November 2021

The Robot Needs Home Collective Label releases No Feeling is Final, by Cinematic Instrumental band Maybeshewill. Between 2006 and 2016 they released four full-length albums and toured four continents, before bowing-out with a sold old show at London’s Koko venue. They briefly reformed in 2018 for a show at the Meltdown Festival. Now the band has returned with brand new material produced by bassist Jamie Ward. The rest of the band comprises James Collins on drums, Matthew Daly on keyboards, John Helps on guitar and Robin Southby also on guitar...

This release follows a theme of weary exasperation at all that is going wrong in the world, potential environmental catastrophe, and the worst aspects of human nature. But we have no choice but to remain engaged and carry on. The stay complacent and consume ethos seems to be lifted straight from John Carpenter’s They Live movie. I wonder if they’ve seen it…

Electronica introduces an off-beat drum pattern and piano, which begins to get away from us before being reeled-in as a grand, all-encompassing sound. Sampled strings turn the piece into a melancholy but up-beat half-pace. Wow, I’ve already been hooked by the opening track: 'We’ve Arrived at the Burning Building'. It simply sweeps you away. 'Zarah' follows, and I find myself impressed by the production; it’s such a warm sound. There is a voice-over making a statement about global warming, but you almost don’t need that touch, as the music practically explains itself in its driving emotion and heart-bleeding drama. Aside from perhaps the drums, the music is simple but multi-layered and far-reaching. It’s almost a transcendence of yourself, without being spacey or psychedelic.

'Complicity' begins with an electronic percussion. The quirkiness is overridden by a nice drum sequence that powers this one along on a targeted emotion. It changes direction, becoming lighter and more plaintive with sensitive touches, before returning to the previous driven music theme. 'Invincible Summer' has a plucking guitar piece, soared over by electronic keyboard strings. All the while backed solidly by a mad drum beat. This one introduces noises such as scraping amidst a piano synth repeating chord sequence. As the whole continues it becomes wider and more grand, tearing at the fabric of the human condition. It almost makes you want to cry, and that’s no mean feat. 'The Weight of Light' cuts it back to a simple piano scale sequence and two different bass string melodies that come together. A very nice full-band burst of sound and sadness erupts into a rolling wall of despair, and then pulls back to a much more tentative feel.

'Refuturing' is an almost John Carpenter film like piece. Electronic, with a ultra-low bass and clattering. It soon breaks through with a piano tune and more prominent strings. The Electronica takes a step up, with a heaviness and fuzz, but never moves away from its ultimate score-like theme. This is the most diverse track yet, as it rips back to a basic piano sound soon moved into the background by an expressive saxophone. 'Green Unpleasant Land' starts with an old fashioned acoustic banjo and a rustic feel with added strings. It moves in to a fuller smooth piece, maintaining that Pagan feel even with a full band aspect. It adds sampled voices. But then with a slipping effect we are thrust into a thicker, wider and heavier version of the music which I wish had continued for a little longer. 'Even Tide' begins with a simple but nice guitar piece, inspiring that melancholy again. A drum sequence joins it with the bass, and it rolls and evolves into a fuller version with added changes as it goes along. Stripped back for a while a brass keyboard sound is added which sounds like the latter parts of Pink Floyd’s 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. The Electronica ups the ante, sounding like an angry swarm of bees with touches that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror film (string slashes, rumbling, etc.).

'The Last Hours' incorporates a mechanical clicking and clattering, with piano and overriding synth. We slide into that comforting but exciting and trepidacious thick, warm full-band sound – and isn’t it just lovely. An orchestral string piece takes over but pulls back to a light piano musing, before gradually building up via the ticking clock piece again. I can’t emphasise enough the power and emotion portrayed by that driving smooth sound. It’s like there are hidden human conditions in there somewhere; regret, sadness and melancholia are prodded, but there is also a sense of hope and enjoyment mixed in. It’s quite an experience. We conclude the proceedings with 'Tomorrow', which is like an epilogue of sad piano notes that builds into quite a sense of loss and hope, and lingers on a fading note and birdsong heard in the silence.

I think I’ve said all I need to say about this one. Maybeshewill have proved to be a very pleasant surprise, being not only entertaining but possessing a gifted – if somewhat macabre – ability to make the instrumental music speak volumes and connect with the soul. I may find myself seeking out their previous releases. But can any of them be as complete a package as this? Buy it now.


Ty Power

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