Maebe is the debut album from guitar journalist Michael Astley-Brown (of Guitar World/MusicRadar ‘fame’), and sits somewhere in between math-/post-/alt- and prog-rock. The all-instrumental release was written, recorded, produced and mixed by Astley-Brown in Bristol, UK, and mastered by Tom Peters (Alpha Male Tea Party, The Fall, Cleft) – it combines MAB’s love of sinewy Soundgarden-esque riffs, hazy post-rock soundscapes and angular alt-rock solos into a record that shows respect for the past masters of guitar and ardour for the next generation of players.
In this exclusive playthrough video, Michael weaves low-gain textures with proggy riffs and big sexy chords to bring an atmosphere of anticipation and varying mood swings culminating in a tasty climax that never exceeds what it needs to be. It’s the perfect pleasant dream for your quarantine.
“Myriad is one of my favourite tracks from the album,” says Astley-Brown. “I had plans to shoot a proper video for it – in a studio and everything! – but coronavirus kinda put a stop to that. Instead, I cobbled together a video in my spare bedroom, wonky pictures ’n’ all.
“The opening riff started out as a legato warm-up, but after a few tweaks it felt hooky enough to kickstart a full song. I dig how the track starts out dark and ends up in a totally different, more optimistic place. And in the middle solo section, I shamelessly pilfer from the Mike Einziger pseudo-jazz playbook.
“For the live playthrough audio, I played my Fernandes JG-40 Jazzmaster-style in the coil-split neck position through a Sinvertek Drive N5 into a Yamaha THR100H, set to a 6L6 clean Fender sound. There are liberal sprinklings of DigiTech Whammy, Boss DD-500 and Electro-Harmonix Oceans 11 throughout, too.”
Maebe is available now via Bandcamp, and across all major streaming services.