Sheffield-based Mybe are on the brink of completing their as-yet-untitled new album and, to celebrate in profile-raising style, they're offering up this five track EP free from www.mybe-music.co.uk which features two album tracks and three EP-only tracks.
It's a wise move, as opening song 'State of Emergency' is sure to get you excited about the forthcoming album. Opening with a two-pronged attack of thumping drumbeats and pounding vocals, 'State of Emergency' forces its way into your head like a battering-ram.
Added to this are verses of sparse, but perfectly put together indie-rock awkwardness, all underpinned by manically bouncing drumbeats, before Mybe beef up their sound for a smooth slide into a catchy, pop-infused chorus. Frontman Jim contributes some irresistibly poppy main vocals, backed up by plenty of twitching secondary vocals. Suddenly, Mybe releasing this album-teaser as a freebie, starts to make sense.
Second track 'Crash and Burn' fizzes away with plenty of added electro effects, making for an uplifting listen. However, Mybe counteract this song's light-entertainment appeal, with frequent passages of darker, crackly riffs and rumbling drumbeats, ensuring that 'Crash and Burn' doesn't become all about the sugary rush of the chorus. There is plenty of substance behind this trancey, electro-rock number.
'Falling Down' sees Mybe make a stab at producing a rock ballad, with impressive results. Although Jim's voice isn't best suited to those big notes, the chorus is so jam-packed with wailing strings, rattling acoustic guitar and atmosphere-drenched synths, that you'll hardly notice how much he's struggling to reach those high notes. This is especially true after the midway point, as Mybe add sublime backing harmonies to the mix, building to a beautifully layered end-section that proves, beyond all doubt, that Mybe can pull off a ballad.
Mybe leave ballad territory behind for this EP's heaviest offering, 'With You I'm Nothing,' which boasts a chorus you'll need a scalpel to remove from your grey matter. Jim puts in a practically faultless vocal performance, pitching every lyric just right to ensure you'll be struggling to get 'With You I'm Nothing' out of your head. The bridge section of a stuttering electronic beat and distorted vocals may be a little underwhelming but, apart from that, it's very hard to pick fault with this song.
Mybe sign off with 'The Long Goodbye' which is a slight step-down from the rest of this EP, despite plenty of pulsing indie chords and a rattling, acoustic slant that creates a laidback, sing along feel. While there's nothing overtly wrong with 'The Long Goodbye,' it does lack the irresistible hooks that the rest of this EP makes look so easy.
'The Calm Before The Storm' does exactly what it's supposed to: it gets you making a mental note to check out Mybe's full-length. Every song on this EP is catchy as hell, without being irritatingly, pop-punk chirpy. Mybe get the balance just right between getting lodged in your head, and taking the occasional, unexpected route. 'The Calm Before The Storm' is an instantly likeable, slightly poppy, slightly indie take on rock that's sure to increase interest in their forthcoming album.