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Manchester indie tykes Mazes are back with another album, leading off the press release with the self-same Zane Lowe quote which opened the press release for the debut. While some things haven’t changed, however, it’s immediately clear on listening to the record that these boys have grown up a little since their first offering, content now to drape their indiepop ditties on casual slacker grooves, perhaps taking some cues from Cold Pumas’ repeato-indie antics on their amazing debut last year.
The whole thing sounds much more self-assured than the last album, I feel like they’ve kind of assumed more of an identity of their own rather than wearing their influences so clearly on their sleeves, and the mixture of gentle melodies and occasional big spluttering guitar leads reminds me of prime late-’90s Built To Spill on several occasions over the course of the record.
The immediate stand-outs are the lengthy opener ‘Bodies’ with its tasty little staccato guitar lines and krauty midsection wig-out, and the tense penultimate track ‘Skulking’ which is charming and threatening at the same time like ‘Rather Ripped’-period SY, while the slightly cutesy ‘Sucker Punched’ comes over like one of GBV’s catchier Tobin Sprout moments. There’s a Lungfishy-sounding number which they’ve cheekily named ‘Dan Higgs Particle’ as well, to further show they’re down with the adults. Totally enjoyable record and a real leap forward from their debut. Get involved!
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