Friday, February 01, 2008

The Mae Shi

Let's make something perfectly clear. This post is for you, and not your friends. . . because your friends won't like this. Nope. You, the music enthusiast that you are, that daily browses the blogs looking for the freshest tunes, or, those dusty gems you passed along when you were 21 because you were preoccupied with things like college and girls (boys). Yes, you, will appreciate this album in all its insane glory. I've played the album five times since coming across it yesterday.

Now, I'm only going to make one request from you (and I'm sure The Mae Shi will be behind me when I say this). The next time The Mae Shi are in town, take those said friends we were just talking about to the show. I haven't seen the show, and perhaps you haven't either, but we can both agree from just one spin of this album, that both of our lives may be different from that night on. Don't believe me, check out the live videos on their MySpace.

The Mae Shi began in 2002, and are now signed to 5RC Records, whose roster includes Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu, as well as a load of other bands I've never heard of, but am educating myself on as we speak.

Hlllyh is their 5th album, and will lock you in at the first riff of crunchy keyboard pop, and then keep you there with the driving drums that do not let up until the album is over. Well, they do let up for the 11.5 minute epic dance track, "Kingdom Come", as those are programmed beats, but it is worth it for the rehash of "Run To Your Grave" mixed with elements that have proven successful in countless dance tracks. They're having bit of fun with us here.

This album is pieced together in a way that each song belongs to the next, and continues where the last left off. This not a concept album, just a cohesive one. Beyond the music itself, it is the lyrics and attitude of these guys that gets my blood pumping and acres of goosebumps (that means I'm excited) cropping up. Here is an excerpt from their MySpace that pretty much says it all:
"This is our story, and we invite you to come along. It's about self-improvement and trying to live life at the top of your lungs, living life rightly, respecting others, making something you're proud of, and trying to sort out all the static and figuring out what matters. It's about trying to forge that third way, that way everyone said it couldn't be done. We do this in basements and backyards and in fancy clubs we don't even feel comfortable in."

"We do this in living rooms and bathrooms and bedrooms and wherever the sound sounds best. We do this with ten dollar keyboards and Olvera Street guitars and with light-reactive synths we built ourselves. We do this with broken cymbals and busted speakers. We do this the first thing when we wake up. We do this after a hard day at work, when it's the only solace and life seems to be a constant source of frustration. We do this on weekends. We do this all the time."
As of now, there's only a handful of dates that you can catch them at:
  • Feb 1 Birmingham
  • Feb 2 London- Push@The Mean Fiddler
Last year, they put out their DVD "Lock the Skull, Load the Gun," which by the looks of the trailer, is worth all 15 bones.

Here's a couple of tracks from the new one...
Look for this album to be released at the end of next month. For now, you can buy t-shirts, albums, and even some homemade instruments (currently sold out) directly from their mypace: