Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

New Album Reviews – Maybeshewill and Miike Snow

Maybeshewill – Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony

Maybeshewill finally released their second album last Monday but I’ve been listening to it for a fair while after picking up a copy at their show last month.

After their first release ‘Not For Want Of Trying’ in 2008, which was one of my albums of the year and possibly my favourite post rock album, they had a lot to live up to. All their previous work, both the first album and the ‘Japanese Spy Transcript’ EP, has a slightly heavier, more intense sound than a lot of post rock bands and it’s this, along with their use of movie samples, that has always endeared them to me and with this album it is definitely more of the same.

The opening track ‘You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist’ sets the tone for the album brilliantly with loud, sharp guitars creating an sound that could accompany any apocalyptic movie scene before launching into Co-Conspirators which contains everything a good Maybeshewill track should, as does How To Have Sex With A Ghost.

Elsewhere on the album, This Time Last Year and Last Time This Year both feature which was something of a surprise to me as they’d both featured on a 12″ split (with Her Name Is Calla) that they released last year. However, they’ve been reworked and sound better than ever here. Accept and Embrace is a strange track that I sometimes love and am sometime indifferent to but for no real reason. Our History Will Be What We Make Of It is an unusual track, comprising just spoken dialogue overlying a minimal electronic track. But it works.

To close, we have the title track of the album which starts out in a very sedate manner with just the piano and slowly building and building before the specially written dialogue comes in.

Altogether, this is a fantastic album for me that builds on the previous work perfectly. It does feel a little short at 38 minuts (with the final track having a couple of minutes of silence at the end of it) and this feels even more apparant seeing as two of the eight tracks have already been released. It may not quite be as good as their first album, but it’s still one of my favourite albums of the year so far.

Highlights: Co-Conspirators, Our History Will Be What We Make Of It

Sounds Like: 65daysofstatic, And So I Watch You From Afar

Rating: 9 wise monkeys

How To Have Sex With A Ghost

Miike Snow – Self Titled

Monday also saw the release of the debut album from the Swedish trio, Miike Snow, which comprises Andrew Wyatt, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg. The three have known each other since 2004 when writing material for another artist. The album wasn’t a success but the three remained in contact and in 2007 they formed the band.

The album is strong throughout but, for me, the first three tracks are by far the best; Animal kicks off the album with it’s light, ‘bouncy’ synths and minimal vocals over the top. Burial, possibly my favourite track, follows in a similar vein but builds to a bit more of a crescendo in places, before leading to Silvia, the darkest song of the three, which builds and drops in a fantastic manner.

The rest of the album has a fairly similar feel to the opening tracks but every track manages to be different enough so that the album never feels overly repetitive. While this may be a good thing as the sound they do produce is something I possibly wouldn’t normally listen to but something I enjoyed. However, it does feel as though they found their sound but were afraid to experiment too much which is a bit of a shame. Here’s just hoping they’ve saved some big ideas for the second album.

Highlights: Animal, Burial, Silvia

Sounds Like: A chilled out mix somewhere between Animal Collective and MGMT. But not.

Rating: 7 snow monkeys


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