[sic] Magazine

Mazes – Ores And Minerals

Many bands are more indebted to, than merely influenced by, previous musical
movements or styles and so it could be here. There is nothing on display, however, like the slavish 60s aping of a band like Temples .

It starts with some perfect Pop that spirals into a euphoric psychedelic banger. ‘Bodies’ is reminiscent of recent electro songsmiths Clor for a few minutes before taking off like The Dream Syndicate and finally even approaching Hawkwind Space Rock in the groove packed, instrumental second Half. Unless they raided their parent’s divine archives they won’t know it but the touchstones throughout are the 80s psych of the Paisley Underground bands and the Irish quirk pop of That Petrol Emotion . After a few plays I had to keep checking some of the tracks weren’t covers such is the feeling of having lived with them for years. Although they feel organic there is a real ear for a hook at work too. Also lyrically nuggets keep grabbing you – “America isn’t great, it’s OK” currently my favourite.

This album is a genuinely exciting work, a sound has been happened upon, refined to perfection and sounds totally ‘in the groove’. In fact I can’t remember the last time I was as impressed by an album as a whole work as opposed to a grouping of largely good tracks. You have Classic Pop song writing here as well as freak beat, a nod to ‘Dear Prudence’ or ‘Helter Skelter’, even (unknowingly we must assume) The Korgis . The title song is pure ‘out in the prairie peyote metronomic groove’, with wig out guitar and drum machine, Pere Ubu standard weirdness but at their most restrained. The album has the feel of fey city boys tripping in the great outdoors.

The tracks sound sharp but with a live ambience that makes you feel a direct connection to them that can be lost in too much studio work. The title is appropriate – this album seems hewn from a desert canyon.

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