[sic] Magazine

Mazes – A Thousand Heys

Mazes are, frankly, scary. They meander from darkened alcove to sunless impasse, the heart caused to quicken and, in anticipation of the unknown, heckles to rise. Thankfully, London-via-Manchester four-piece Mazes are altogether brighter – yet their DIY hooks, barbs and riffs nevertheless scratch out at the unwary. Equally, the band’s fuzzy guitar and tempered lyrics loom all the same from indiscernible mid-fi murk, catchy garage pop liberally offered by way of fruit en route.

Coasting on carefully selected 90s slacker credentials, A Thousand Heys has highlights aplenty, and none more so than the impeccable “Go Betweens”. Originally the flip to the horizontal, Kinks -inspired single “Cenetaph”, it’s sufficiently snotty to catch the ear, sufficiently jangly to boogie (never mind grin) to, as well as being sufficiently riff-tacular to inspire devotion amongst the taste-making community, and sufficiently short to reward hammering the repeat button. And all this has justifiably earned it the coveted opening slot on A Thousand Heys .

In comparison, the sub-two-minute “Most Days” pops with melody in compensation for its length, thinking also to successfully blend in inane, Blur -like choruses to the track’s mix. Somewhere between The Velvet Underground and The Stooges , “Wait Anyway” and its mangled guitar lines play out iconically on top of one another, lapping against psychedelic repeats, freewheeling with riffs and feedback. Whereas, earlier, “Surf & Turf” is entirely more linear – blatantly, as well as lovably, indebted to the pragmatic Pavement suite as it is.

Avoiding the raw write-offs of, say, Lovvers, A Thousand Heys ‘ sunny disposition allows Mazes to join the retaliatory ranks of hugely likeable layabouts such as Male Bonding and Let’s Wrestle , which all a new British invasion doesn’t make, but does all go some way to steadying the good ship.

Advised downloads: “Go Betweens” and “Wait Anyway”.

~A Thousand Heys is out April 11th 2011 on Fat Cat .~