Mazes – A Thousand Heys (Fat Cat) 11/04/2011

April 14, 2011 by  

The first thing that strikes you about this brilliant debut by Mazes is that they aren’t skateboarding slackers from the sunny streets of San Francisco. Instead they are from the grey streets of London via Manchester, which makes it all the more impressive that they have made a long player that transforms England to the sunny utopia we all wish it could be.

In the past 18 months, they have released tracks on very limited cassettes, been featured on every blog residing in the sphere, while at the same time receiving hype from the wider press – including the NME and Vice to name a few – and supported the best bands in their scene. Mazes make this whole D.I.Y thing look easy. Yet more importantly, along with a great work ethic they have effortlessly mixed in hooks, riffs and sharp lyrics that can’t help but make you smile into their music. Merging sounds of some of the best artists of our time there are clear notes of The Velvet Undergorund, Gang of Four, Blur and The Strokes, while still making an album that is entirely their own.

‘I get off the train and wave, like The Beatles at JFK’ sings Jack Cooper on ‘Surf & Turf / Maths Tag’. A line full of cheek and confidence that sums up how brave and youthful a band they are. Album highlight, the very ‘Is This It’, ‘Boxing Clever’ recalls The Strokes at their precocious best and would happily take its place amongst the finer points of their back catalogue.

Although all but 4 songs clock in at way less than 3 minutes, it is hard to not be sucked in by the glowing joyfulness of this record. It plays out like the perfect soundtrack for any confused teenagers summer days or a burst of nostalgia for the Peter Pans of this world.

With time on their sides and plenty of new experiences, things to learn and maturity to ensue; you can’t help but feel that only bigger and better things are to come of Mazes and I sure hope so.

[rating:4.5]


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