The Mae Shi - Hlllyh

‘Hlllyh’ is a wonderful album. With bits of songs mashed together until they just about fit.

Yes, it’s very bad form to use the first person in a review, but fuck it. Back when I was young (6? 7?) I had a Casio keyboard which did very little: you couldn’t press more than a single key at once, and the keys themselves were minature-sized. Yet, it had a few presets - one of which was playing ‘Yankee Doodle’ - and a selection of beats. One of which provides the basis for ‘Run To Your Grave’, and another ‘The Melody’. And, since I’ve already broken the rules once in this review, I’ll admit it: this has got me just as excited as I was when I unwrapped the keyboard on Christmas morning. There’s a possibility some pop stars had the same instrument as me.

‘Hlllyh’ is a wonderful album. With bits of songs mashed together until they just about fit, the Californians have managed to keep the adrenaline running throughout, and made use of the most culturally relevant song title since Jarvis‘Fat Children’. ‘Pwnd’ means very little at all, of course, but it’s a wry smile towards The Mae Shi’s fans: the reason they’ve not released their previous material this side of the Atlantic is mostly because they don’t need to. It’s made its way here regardless.

Between the unadulterated punk (‘Party Politics’, ‘Boys In The Attic’) and electronic beasts (‘Kingdom Come’ - all eleven-plus minutes of it), there’s time for wonderful vocal harmonies (‘Lamb And The Lion’) pure indie-rock (‘Divine Harvest’ - handclaps!), and even childlike, playful chanting (‘I Get Almost Everything’). Which, at the end of the day (another rule down the pan, yes) is about all you could wish for on one LP. Unless you also once owned a childrens’ Casio keyboard in the late 1980s.

Tags: The Mae Shi, Reviews, Album Reviews

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