The Workman’s played host to London band Mazes, a group who have just released their complex second album. Local band September Girls were the openers and were highly impressive. Their sound centres around highly distorted guitars with a pounding drum beat driving everything forward. Their drummer hits incredibly hard, and this makes their sound rather unusual and distinctive. The other four members split vocal duties between them, which means there is no front woman as such, and the band seem a little confused about who should take charge in between songs and little is said in these interludes. But this silence merely contributes to the sinister air they exude with songs such as Green Eyed. The band played some unreleased material that was also rather impressive, so watch out for future releases from this wonderfully exciting band.
Mazes took to the stage and kicked off with the first track off the new album, Bodies. This track is the perfect example of what Mazes are all about, starting off with a catchy melody in the verse and chorus before moving onto an extended instrumental section that features subtle changes in tempo and mood, giving rise to an interesting listen. This is followed by Dan Higgs Particle which generates a relaxed vibe, again with a repetitive and steady drum beat and bassline, with a lazy and deliberate solo. The chemistry between the band members is very strong, and they seem to know exactly when a change is coming during the extended jam sessions. In fact they seem so focused on their music that they forget about the crowd when they’re playing, instead staring intently down at their instruments. They do make an effort to interact, calling out the name of their songs, but overall they seem too enraptured with their music to take notice of much else.
Ores and Minerals is probably the performance of the night, with a strong beat, a big bassline, and a catchy chorus. Of course the guitar solo is the best part, fuzzy and angular, yet somehow oddly relaxing.
Mazes are a solid band, totally lost in their music, but their sound is a perhaps a bit too spaced-out and vague, without any standout riffs or meaningful choruses, to escape the indie wasteland they currently inhabit. They put on an excellent show nevertheless.