Mazes, A Thousand Heys

Bob Small

By Bob Small

on 04.11.11 in Reviews

A Thousand Heys

Nervous, loud and surging with energy

The British quartet Mazes echoes the American band The Apples in Stereo, who, in turn, echo the Beach Boys. Not a bad chain of reference points — each group noisier than the next, each more jittery and primitive. And while Mazes does have a song called "Summer Hits," the band's debut album sounds less like Brian Wilson's sunny "teenage symphonies to God" and more like music made by actual teenagers. The songs here are nervous and loud, and surge with energy. (Most tunes are less than three minutes long. Several are less than two, and pretty much all of them seem to have been written in the amount of time they take to play.) Deviation from this formula (as on "Wait Anyway," a relatively epic 3:43) goes south fast, turning power-pop into sludge. This band is at its best when it's unselfconscious enough to just barrel ahead. The drums on opening track "Go Betweens," for instance, sound like an angry neighbor pounding on the apartment wall to get the band rehearsing on the other side to knock it off already. But they're having too much fun to notice the complaint — or to care even if they did.