OK, we’ve been writing for 20 months now. I took some time off in between, but have written semi-intelligent reviews for a good portion of that time. Writers pride themselves on cogent thoughts and crisp arguments (most anyway). It is the rare album that I just throw up my hands and say “Auughghhhh, just listen to it, dammit!” Maybe that is as crisp an argument as they get, but I’m not so sure.
This is where I am with Maybeshewill. I have listened to their third LP, “I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone” six ways to Sunday. I have broken my “I only listen to podcasts in my car because music makes me want to go, and Austin traffic is so gawdawful I don’t want to sit in my car reconsidering public transportation” rule. I have listened to it at home, trying to study the tones, until my wife politely turns the radio down from 11. I have considered having a headphone jack grafted into my brain stem to bypass my ears for better listening. I didn’t do well in biology, would that work?
I was hooked by the furious keys when the album opened and knew I was in trouble at the shift to chopping distortion in “Take This To Heart.” Truth is, I am a sucker for epic instrumental rock, and Maybeshewill serves it up on a whopping silver platter. Between James Collins, Matt Daly, John Helps, Jamie Ward and Robin Southby on drums, keyboards, bass and guitars respectively, this band cranks out driving and deliberate rock that is so sonically rich and rife with emotion. If you put in your headphones, you have the best soundtrack to your life. I was listening while I walked to get the mail and it felt like the biggest event since my son was born. I expected to get a letter from an independently wealthy relative I did not remember but had watched me from afar; there was only a bill, but it was an epic bill.
The rock has some beautiful riffs, some driving bass, mercurial and beautiful drums, complex keys and a string section peppered in here and there. The album begins and ends with tidal waves of sound, bookending a deliberate and reserved center. It gets brightly optimistic with “Red Paper Lanterns” and “Critical Distance,” and brooding with the brass of “Words For Arabella.” Honestly, it is a thing of beauty. By the time the last track, “To The Skies From A Hillside,” crashes through my psyche I am exhausted but want to go back for more. It is similar to the endorphin rush I experienced back when I knew working out was a good thing.
In short, just listen dammit. “I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone” is out now and is ready to be rocked. Enjoy it, because it is great and waiting to be the soundtrack of your life. Make it a grand one because Maybeshewill is trying to help you out.