nick thinks… Top 25 of 2008: 01!!! // The Mae Shi – Hlllyh (Team Shi / Moshi Moshi 2008)


Nick: I don’t like it ‘a lot’.

too much concept and not enough music, if that makes sense, it’s overwrought, taking itself too seriously, overly intense.

Helen: I liked the first track, it was very exciting, and one sounded like arcade fire, but there was also one where they sounded like demented fools.

Nick: musically, the melodies are very derivative, heard it all before in some form or another.

(track 8 – Kingdom Come – a remix/mashup of the entire record jammed right in the centre of the album)

this bit is quite nice, but in general I would be inclined to go up to them and say ‘c’mon guys, relax, just for a bit’

another thing is I can’t hear the lyrics, you said this was a concept album yeah?

kind of, loosely about the book of revelations I think.

well, that’s the one book in the bible that I actually know very well, I’ve illustrated it, but I don’t hear any of it in this, certainly not in the music.

how old are these guys?

around my age

funnily enough I would’ve thought of them as younger, it’s quite juvenile music.

also they can’t make up their mind what they’re up to, is this ‘revelations: the musical’ or a symphony based on revelations?

what do you mean by that? I’m not sure I understand.

there are two different attitudes straining to be heard here, some of it sounds like ‘Hair’ or another modern musical, a stage show or whatever, and other parts not at all, the unpleasant, well not unpleasant but aggressive, rocky stuff that doesn’t fit with the rest.

see something can’t be ‘a bit’ of a concept, like a girl can’t be ‘slightly pregnant’.

I think they should have worked on it a little longer as there are some great bits.

From October 07 till April 08 I was traveling around Asia and South & Central America with my girlfriend, a bag of clothes & books and a 15gig i-pod. by the 3rd month my thirst for new music was getting worse and worse, so the Paper Thin (RIP) Listening Party became my first stop shop for hearing something outside my music player and the popular music the various countries offered (Asia – bob marley, jack johnson, The Americas – reggaeton).

In Chile, some time in February ‘Hlllyh’ was the featured album, I was already excited to hear it as two new tracks been on the bands myspace page since mid 2007, and as the album played through crappy internet cafe headphones and I read the track by track notes by the band I came to realise that this was something beyond special. Positivity, wild, vibrant colours, group singing/screaming, breakneck speeds, mentalist drumming, sugar sweet pop, this was ticking all the boxes and then some.

For the rest of the week, I kept making lame excuses to get back on the internet, ‘we really should send some pic’s to our parents’ ‘it’s so-and-so’s birthday next week, I wanna mail them now before I forget’ yadda yadda yadda, just so I could hear it all over again.

The final 6 days of our trip was spent in The Mae Shi’s home state of California and luckily for us they were beginning a west coast tour with English scuzz-fukkers PRE, our second night in L.A we headed out to the Silverlake district to watch the two bands tear the roof off a crappy little shoebox called Spaceland. If I hadn’t copped it before, that night confirmed it for me, these guys were my new favorite band ever of all time. starting their set in the crowd, all singing as loud as possible, eyes shut tight, walking toward the stage where for the next 30 minutes they would jump, dance, fall, scream, cover the crowd in the Mae Sheet (RIP), and just generally fuck shit up while giving you one of the most energetic and memorable performances you’ll ever witness. I went to see them again in Oakland three days later.

Jesus. I’m writing way to much and I really shouldn’t because:
A – I’m not a writer
and B – I never know how to end these things.
Luckily I have a small interview with Bill Gray, Mae Shi bassist and professional beard wearer, below and that should wrap things up nicely. Thanks for reading.

Hey Bill, how does it feel to be the first ever winners (Ruan) /not winners (Nick) of the ‘the
nick thinks… best album of 2008’?

Ha ha, It feels awesome, it’s like feasting on the flesh of our young white masters bro.

Can you sum up the last year for The Mae Shi in 5 words?

Hilarious, revealing, stressless, broke, legalize.

What were your top five musical moments from the past year?

In no particular order:
Adam Payne from LA came out with a record called ‘Organ’ and on that organ was a song called “The One After Eyes” and it blows my mind, I should send it to you.
Abe Vigoda’s record “Skeleton” really made made me feel like everything’s going to be ok.
Seeing legendary Chicago hardcore band LOS CRUDOS (reunion 08′) at The Regent was nothing less then inspiring.
Gene Clark’s “Silverado ’75 Live & Unreleased” was finally released this year and the live version of “Set You Free This Time” gave me the chills for the last half of this year.
Playing with No Age and Health in Sweden was pretty rad..I think that’s five.

and your favorite non musical moment from the last year?

Discovering the saudero burrito at Tacozone on Alvarado.

so what’s next for The Mae Shi?

We’re making a new record. Touring more, I mean… you know, being a band. Jon’s making new shirts right now on the balcony of our boy palace. Also we’re trying to figure how the fuck bands tour Japan for cheap, if anyone out there knows, tell us.


3 responses to “nick thinks… Top 25 of 2008: 01!!! // The Mae Shi – Hlllyh (Team Shi / Moshi Moshi 2008)

  1. Pingback: Hey, what about……? « nick thinks…

  2. I think I tripped over a member of the Mae Shi in the Village in March. I never listened to their album, being slow to pick up new stuff. But Nick’s comments in particular make me really want to hear it now. Sweet!

    • you probably would’ve, there was a times new viing vs mae shi dance off to ‘born to run’ that ended with most members sprawled out on the floor.

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