Mazes – “Ores & Minerals”
British indie rock gurus Mazes present new album Ores & Minerals, bearing a mélange of catchy rifts, rhythmic grooves overlaid with glassy, alternative vocals. The trio of lo-fi loving musicians, lead by singer/guitarist Jack Cooper, produce heart-warming chord progressions and forward moving melodies. The group plays off of an American nineties style rock, reminiscent of groups such as Built to Spill and Velvet Underground.
Many of the songs begin with looping guitar rifts that compliment the building vocal passages blanketed by Cooper. Tracks such as “Bite” and title track “Ores & Minerals” exemplify this style well. Effective in producing grooves that persevere throughout the length of the tracks, such a building style facilitates at once easy listening, and simultaneously, pleasant arousal derived from careful progression. The lyrics on “Ores & Minerals” perhaps offer vision into Cooper’s world-view and framework for the album, “Looking out for a life I can seat on more… I wish for a power with some strange forces / giving all for what you..discourses, oh / or divorces.” Dreams of the supernatural seem convenient solutions to the adversity faced in our daily lives, and Cooper clearly yearns for a means to overcome the shortcomings he proclaims, painting a touch of humanity over his artistry.
Instead of merely maintaining a single framed sound, Mazes provides insight into their capacity for writing a variety of sonic appeals. From the upbeat positivity of “Delancey Essex,” the detuned and melancholy creeping of “Leominster,” to the accent-based single note rhythmic appeal of “Bodies,” Mazes demonstrates their capacity to escape genre, opting instead for a well-laid plans of a solid indie rock album. Well worth multiple listens, this record has strong replay value, and perfect for a void Sunday afternoon.
Review by David Riott.