If you turn up early to any decent gig in Manchester, the chances are that you’ll get a chance to see Mazes opening up proceedings. Not content with being synonymous with all the great music currently playing in the city, they’ve also gone about setting up their own record label in conjunction with The Deaf Institute, which has suitably put out a seven inch by the band as their first release.
Whilst we can all dream of the hazy collaborations that might ensue, it seems that Mazes are simply going about their business, making better music that pretty much every other band in the country. These two tracks, however, see them rein in some of the fuzz of their earlier efforts, and even slowing themselves down somewhat, exploring a slightly longer form of music. There’s still the obvious lo-fi, DIY ethic that got the likes of 20jazzfunkgreats and Transparent talking about them, but compared to the majority of their work, the three minutes of Cenetaph seems enormous. The threesome indulge in what could be termed a ‘laid back summer jam’, complete with ‘oooooo’ refrain and spiky, almost jangle pop guitar – the result, predictably, being a brilliant take on the relaxed garage pop of the west coast of the US. It’d be fair to say that there’s a small amount of maturity starting to creep into their sound, but only at the edges – the flip side, Go-Betweens, is just as raucous as the tracks that piqued everybody’s interest way back in 2009, whilst clocking in at well under the two minute mark.
An album must be on the horizon somewhere, and this release encapsulates the two brilliant extremes of the band’s sound, whilst only increasing the clamour for something longer. For the minute though, the half an hour support slots and 7″s are more than enough to sedate – and as sedatives go, this is sublime.
Released 5th July