A Thousand Heys, Mazes debut LP, is recorded with the type of fuzzy guitar and feedback echoing through the amps that you would expect to hear from a recording of your friends in a garage. The difference: your friends probably don’t have the talent for creating pop melodies.
Simplicity is Mazes best friend—they often just use live recordings and try to put as little effort in preparation for songs. From those recordings, they sift through and pick ones they like, and that’s basically how they created their album. The songs on A Thousand Heys, are short and to the point. An example of this is the track “Eva,” which is less than 30 seconds. From this track, it’s apparent of the punk band the Vasolines’ influence on Mazes. The mellow lyrics “did you hear that god’s dead,” reminded me of Vasolines’ “Jesus Don’t Want Me for A Sunbeam.” But Mazes are far from being melancholy. In “Summer Hits or J+J Don’t Like,” the thrill of a day driving to the beach seems to be the best time to blast this song. Even the title picks fun at how two of the band members apparently do not even like their own tune that much.
The songs are driven by a catchy rhythm guitar, with a lead guitar that sort of dances around that riff to give the groove some extra kick and excitement. It’s clear the two guitars and vocals are the force behind the songs because the bass is quiet and the drums just flow along with the rhythm. It’s interesting to hear how the fun and genius pop melodies that carry out the songs transform into to a scratchy distortion by the songs end. This creates a big contrast when listening to the LP because one moment the guitar could be ringing out and the next a bright guitar would open the next track.
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G
Key Tracks: “Go Betweens,” “Surf & Turf/Maths Tag,” and “Bowie Knives”
Recommended if you like: Vasolines’, Dirty Beaches and Crystal Stilts.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!