MAYBESHEWILL – Sing The Word Hope In Four Part Harmony (2009)

maybeshewill - Sing The Word Hope In Four Part Harmony I ended my last maybeshewill review by remarking that, while procession of the final three songs was godlike, it didn’t feel like we were hearing all of what the band were capable of, and that I hoped future albums by the ensemble would showcase this unrealized potential. Now I have no idea if the band actually heard my call or not, but regardless, Sing The Word Hope In Four Part Harmony answers it, and answers it with gusto – the album towers over Not For Want of Trying in every regard. The rhythmic pulses are more complex, the slanted, riff-alicious melodies bounce off each other endlessly, creating tension and harmony in equal measure, the expanded use of samples results in some truly vivacious and stirring juxtapositions, and (perhaps most signifcantly) the album feels more like a holistic experience. Not For Want of Trying was akin to ending a leisurely stroll in the park with a mad, endurance-draining sprint, whereas Sing The Word Hope In Four Part Harmony is calculated and thorough flex of all the post-rock muscles.

The first three songs rocket through with breathtaking precision and unrelenting alt-rock pathos. You Can’t Shake Hand With A Clenched Fist sets the stage for what’s to come with perfect brevity, and before you know it, Co-Conspirators begins, a song that begins somewhat simply before taking a sharp, unsettling detour midway through; the second half of the song is anchored around a Frank Galvin monologue from the 1982 film, The Verdict (I can deduce that the band are fans of Sidney Lumet, given their use of Howard Beale’s “mad as hell” speech in their last album). The band create a perfect musical backdrop to accompany the menace and conviction of the monologue, and it’s something they do repeatedly well on the album. On the very next track, they do it again, this time with a chaotic dinner-table argument from the criminally underrated film I Heart Huckabees. Again, the band don’t try and match the chaos of the sample; they play off it, underscore it, accent it and turn it into something wonderful in the process.

The only real downside of Sing The Word Hope In Four Part Harmony is that (for a post-rock record), it’s relatively brief (the 8 songs clock in at under 40 minutes, and that’s excluding the lengthy silence proceeding the acoustic outro on the title track). But in a weird way, that’s really another of the album’s strengths. Naturally, you want to hear more, so when there is no more, you simply play it again. This is the part of the review wherein I attempt to wrap things up with witty twist, but instead, I’d like to refer you back to the previous sentence. Yeah. That should do it.

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One Response to “MAYBESHEWILL – Sing The Word Hope In Four Part Harmony (2009)”

  1. […] more often than not, particularly when it’s done skillfully, as in the new albums by Mono and maybeshewill), and they don’t fashion empty abstractions masquerading as something deeper, either. […]

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