Last week we had the pleasure of catching MAZES on their first tour of the United States in Philadelphia. They put on a memorable performance while opening up for White Denim and shortly after their set I felt obliged to pick up their LP “A Thousand Heys” from FatCat Records.
Released back in April, “A Thousand Heys” is a straight forward album made up of charming indie pop with a spastic, folksy twist, excellent guitar work and peppy vocals which all combines to make up these short but awesomely sweet songs. They’re clean cut and mostly devoid of all that crummy lo-fi scuzz which makes for a delightfully easy listen. Undeniably catchy hooks are beaten right into your brain, especially in a quick and shining pop nugget like “Summer Hits or J+J Don’t Like” or “Most Days”. The four piece band manages to stick to their formula of energetic pop from track to track, rarely straying off task or losing focus.
Plenty of highlights are interspersed throughout the record, one of the most unique occurring in “Wait Anyway”. Eventually you’ll encounter nasty dueling guitar licks fighting for the spotlight, which only becomes more overwhelming as they change direction and begin to lay it on heavy during the second half. Suddenly there’s a brooding psych rock vibe that you didn’t see on the surface – rather it was waiting for you to uncover it the whole time. Another standout (and familiar) track reveals itself in “Cenetaph”, which is perhaps the best illustration of what this band is capable of when it comes to lead guitar, which creates plenty of depth and fits into the song flawlessly, guaranteeing at least a second spin. Another that falls into a similar vein with “Cenetaph” is “No Way”, where joyous leads sit on top of the steady rhythm and supplies a springy twang. Last but not least, don’t forget the dizzying spiral guitars of “Surf + Turf”, which continuously descend in a downward motion until the very last dagger-like note.
PS – Don’t forget to check the videos from the show. And there’s even more right here.
Surf + Turf/ Maths Tag –
Summer Hits or J+J Don’t Like –
Wait Anyway –
My Rating: 7.6/10
Genre/ Tags: Indie Rock, Pop, Garage Rock, Folk Rock
A Thousand Heys: Tracklist:
1.) Go Betweens
2.) Surf + Turf/ Maths Tag
3.) Most Days
4.) Bowie Knives
5.) Summer Hits or J+J Don’t Like
6.) Wait Anyway
8.) Boxing Clever
9.) Vampire Jive
11.) No Way
12.) Death House
13.) ‘Til I’m Dead
BUY the LP directly from Insound
Mazes – Official Website
Past Related Posts:
Mazes w/ White Denim Live in Philadelphia (06/22/11)