Maybeshewill are back! It brings me tremendous joy to see that one of the most awesomely unique rock bands is moving forward.

Release date: November 19, 2021 | The Robot Needs Home Collective | Bandcamp | Facebook | Spotify

I discovered Maybeshewill by sheer chance during one of my digging sessions for new music sometime eight or so years ago. I was struck with a sense of awe and wonder that I never experienced before, in any measure, upon having contact with their music. I simply fell madly in love with said music. It was, and to this day still is, a riveting experience every time I revisit their tunes. Needless to say, I was practically heartbroken when they announced in late 2015 that they were splitting up. I can’t find the article anymore, but I distinctly recall that the provided reason rang to the tune of the fact that they had set out to achieve what they wanted and were shifting their focus elsewhere. I found that as resonant and charming as their music. Refusing to accept this reality, I kept holding out hope that they would reunite and continue their musical explorations. Mind you, this wasn’t like any other such moment where I hope that a band reunites; I had an unexplained gut feeling that somehow this wasn’t the last of them. Thankfully, I was right: my feeling of yearning wasn’t final.

My heart skipped several beats upon seeing the news that they were in the throes of making a new album earlier this year. I haven’t been this excited about an album in a long time, nor was there a record in recent memory which I was so sure, beyond any shred of doubt, would be thoroughly amazing. Around the first listen of No Feeling is Final, I couldn’t help but grin so wide that my cheeks were literally pressing my eyelids. It was also kind of surreal, in spite of having this feeling that it was supposed to happen, to listen to their first batch of new material in about seven years. At the time of my first listen, my assumption that the album would be great was, of course, confirmed. Although, practically in no way as I would have expected – which is awesome in my book.

Maybeshewill have kept their instantly recognizable character, or sonic signature. I was entirely certain I was listening to a Maybeshewill album around the second track and nothing else. While their identity remains intact, it strives to uncover other, more profound sides from within itself, instead of rehashing or abandoning itself. This is immediately noticeable in the form of a much more cinematic exposition of the narrative thread of the music. No Feeling is Final seems much more grand in terms of scale, much more epic in the way of atmosphere, with a fair deal of emphasis on what feels like a raw, dramatic edge, when holding it up to previous records. I take it that the current state of affairs at a global level is part of the reason for which we see this tonal shift. As the group details on their Bandcamp page:

No Feeling is Final was born from a place of weary exasperation. From the knowledge that we’re living in a world hurtling towards self-destruction. […] No Feeling is Final is a message of hope and solidarity. It’s a story of growing grassroots movements across the world that are rejecting the doomed futures being sold to us, and imagining new realities based on equality and sustainability. It’s a reckoning with the demons in our histories and a promise to right the wrongs of the past. It’s a plea to take action in shaping the world we leave for future generations. It’s a simple gesture of reassurance to anyone else struggling in these troubled times. Just keep going. No feeling is final.’

It’s very rare that I see a band’s description of their own record which makes sense to me in the context of the actual music and have it fit so snugly, although, to me, that’s hardly a surprise in this case. Anyway, the music takes on much more somber and pensive cues in terms of explored moods than previous records – a thing which resonates very well with me. I do kind of miss the extravagant and eclectic demonstrations of Not For Want of Trying and the dreamy, soft, and almost playful demeanor of Fair Youth, but here’s kudos for taking things further with a lot of good taste, as well as courage to transform your sound while remaining grounded in what you are.

One of the other things that really stood out to me about No Feeling is Final is how it’s practically the first record that really comes together as one cohesive whole, which aims to tell a story. All the tracks seem to be interconnected with what are truly elegant bonds, executed with great finesse. Sure, all the tracks by themselves make perfect sense semantically, but at the same level they play into a larger phrasing which, as aforementioned, ties neatly into the message behind the album.

In terms of actual sound, we’re looking at the same post-rock/experimental/indie band we always knew. It’s just that things have matured in certain aspects, if you ask me. On one hand, we’re seeing artifacts and remnants from previous records. Most notably, I can hear strong Fair Youth shades at the beginning of “Zarah” and particularly at the beginning of “Invincible Summer”, to name a couple. I’m picking up a strong tint of I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone during the latter half of “Complicity”. “Refuturing” features a full-bodied taste of what is practically the new side of the band. It showcases a vibrant and profound kind of energy which leans very little on the past and looks forward to the sonic future.

Maybeshewill really outdid themselves over the course of No Feeling is Final, offering us what is a memorable experience and a series of songs we can listen to for another decade on repeat, alongside the rest of their oeuvre. I have nothing to call in the way of a flaw, from no point of view upon this record. Do yourself a favor and listen to this, regardless of preferences. It’s a kind of experience that brings you closer to the essence of what being human is (read: should be about).

Robert Miklos

Robert Miklos

What can I say? I love slapping buttons and listening to squiggly air.

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