We review the new EP from Maikoh Webbe – Life Without Colour
Christopher ‘Maikoh’ Webbe presents his debut EP ‘Life Without Colour’ – a poignant collection of four tracks in which the twenty-year-old artist genuinely pours his heart and soul whilst exploring the issues of mental health, bullying, loneliness and addiction.
Following on from the success of his first single ‘Broken Smile’ last year – Webbe wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered this new record all in his own bedroom; a fact which only increases the authenticity of his sound. Not just incredibly personal, these tracks give a candid look inside a young person’s mind as they navigate the world around them. There’s no sugar coating or holding back, just raw emotion from the Bristol-born singer-songwriter who describes his intention “to start a revolution and give a voice to the voiceless” with this extended play.
First track ‘Suffer in Silence’ is straight up grunge from the opening almost monotone chant of the song title (which returns as the chorus) into the biting strums of Nirvana-esque guitars. By far the heaviest number of the lot, there’s a risk this one could come off as a bit repetitive or monotonous in its sound – but this feels like a conscious choice by the artist to create an agonizing endless loop as he continues to bottle up his feelings. It’s an interesting technique which manages to transport the listener to Maikoh’s state of mind.
The remaining songs take a slight shift in sound from the opener – feeling much more alternative indie in nature and particularly acoustic guitar-led whilst still retaining that certain melancholic mood throughout. Track 2 – ‘How Does It Feel?’ gives us reverbed guitars and tormented vocals that truly sting as they hit your ears. From the distorted verses to the desperate lyricism in the chorus, Webbe pleads.. “Tell me how it feels / To be happy / To be free / To be anyone but me / Tell me how it feels / To be loved / To be wanted / To be anything but haunted” And haunted is exactly how this track feels.
‘Taste of Loneliness’ features an electric guitar riff reminiscent of Oasis with vocals giving a Noel Gallagher flavour – indeed these latter songs of the EP feel quite influenced by the Manchester musician, although perhaps unintentionally. “I’ve got addicted to the taste now” Closer ‘Everyone Dies In The End’, in spite of its title, happens to be the most upbeat track on the record. Another guitar-led composition which discusses the inevitable mortality of life and the time we waste trying to fit in along the way. Despite the heavy subject matter, it’s lighter than those before it and definitely a bit of an earworm, especially the wistful refrain of “la’s” which are guaranteed to stick in your head.
The ‘Life Without Colour’ EP is anything but greyscale – in these four songs Maikoh Webbe paints a vivid picture of mixed emotions. A mature and well-executed piece of work especially for a bedroom production from such a young artist.