Yes No Maybe

Yes No Maybe

Yes No Maybe

Pieces of the Puzzle EP

Memphis Records

Pieces of the Puzzle isn’t unlistenable; it just lacks many of the qualities that would make one want to listen to it. The lyrics on this Memphis-based outfit’s first release are wholly apoetic — that is to say, loosely aspiring towards the sublime but never quite rising above prosy non sequiturs or tortured greeting card inscriptions. “My voice is dry/and frightens strangers/all that I own/adds up to my age,” from “You Put Yourself There,” is just one example chosen entirely by the arbitrary circling finger method. “All We Have” includes this dubious Seuss-like rhyme: “I offer you my legs/a great distance they can go/hindered not by/water, wind or snow.”

Music-wise, their sound falls neatly into the realm of the predictable and inoffensive. “Who You Are” features a signature guitar riff likely conceived during repeated listens to any one of Stone Gossard’s projects, past or present. “Back into You” resembles a Bachman Turner Overdrive cover as it might have been played in the midst of the general confusion and aimlessness that gripped late ’80s rock. And so on.

On the strength of this EP and their frequent live gigs in and around Memphis, Yes No Maybe will no doubt build an audience among bland and uncritical listeners for whom “I offer you my hands/they are young but very strong/they can pull/and carry you from harm” is a sincere and ardent expression of their most profound feelings. If you want a little more depth and uniqueness in your music, look elsewhere.

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