They might be steeped in admiration for Pavement, Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, but Manchester’s Mazes take their cues from ’90s lo-fi’s murky sense of fun rather than its slacker angst. Swerving past the sadness of Lou Barlow and compadres, the trio head instead for its gleeful sense of experimentation, a willingness to gobble up ideas like a packet of Skittles. With the follow-up to 2011′s A Thousand Heys, Mazes treat their music like a toybox rather than a workstation, picking up brightly colored noises and chunky plastic melodies to chew and rattle until they hit the right combination. Sometimes, this results in fingerpaint smudges of sound, like the charming clockwork instrumental “Significant Bullet” or the silver-nitrate piano of “Leominster”; other times, they take the thread of a pop song and let it wind itself up into a strung-out guitar exploration. The title track, with its literate lyrics and laconic attitude, tips a hat to the elegance of Malkmus before spiraling into a disheveled Soft Boys panic attack, while the rustling prog drums of “Sucker Punched” and the pressing groove of “Skulking” provide enough rough surfaces to snag attention. Not afraid to wander or wonder, Mazes make sure there’s intrigue around every corner.
By Bob Small on 04.11.11 in Reviews
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. A...
By Annie Zaleski on 10.28.14 in Reviews
Starting with their 2007 debut LP, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, Scottish trio the Twilight Sad have cycled through an array of dour styles: shoegaze shrouded in noisy black clouds, terse, grayscale post-punk and a...
By John Schaefer on 10.14.14 in Reviews
We Were Promised Jetpacks are all grown up now. They've added multi-instrumentalist Stuart McGachan to the lineup, and the Scottish band's third full-length, Unravelling, might be their strongest work yet. They're still...
By Katy Henriksen on 10.10.14 in Features
"I already said to someone at [my label], 'Oh Lordy, I'm not doing this again.'"