“I want almost everything / And I get almost anything I want,” wail the Mae Shi in glorious unison halfway through HLLLYH. It’s the new credo for the L.A. four-piece, who on their second LP bring bigger hooks, longer songs and a wider sonic palette than ever before.
Don’t call HLLLYH the Mae Shi’s “mature” record, because it takes a band with the collective spirit of a ten-year-old at summer camp to throw together Casio beats, noise-rock riffs and sing-along choruses with this much abandon. Plus, new singer Jeff Gray sounds even brattier than his predecessor.
But filtered through the Mae Shi’s album-wide obsession with the Rapture (as in the apocalypse, not the dancepunk band), HLLLYH’s giddiness takes on a bizarre morbid tone. Which makes it all the more fascinating.