Manchester quartet Mazes should have been a commendable entry on here last year. I spent and continue to spend an awful lot of time listening to the Manchester quartet’s debut, A Thousand Heys.
Mazes share an obvious bloodline with Dinosaur Jr, Pavement, The Strokes and scores of ’90s grunge and US alternative bands. There is an upbeat feel which echoes many late 90’s British bands, The Charlatans and The Bluetones in particular (‘Wait Anyway’ and ‘No Way’ / ‘Surf And Turf / Maths Tag’ and ‘Centaph’). The Charlatans is less tenuous perhaps due to the similar locale with which both singer Jack Cooper and Tim Burgess are from. A Thousand Heys is jammed with short punchy tracks of brisk tempos and frazzled guitars charging into verse-chorus songwriting with more ooooooooh’s and aaaaaaaaah’s than Paul McGrath.
They have a while to go before reaching this level of, as they say themselves, waving “like the Beatles at JFK”. Beatlemania it may not be but they are a band full of ideas and charm and A Thousand Heys is both imperfect and superb.
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