Mazes’ debut album, ‘A Thousand Heys’, was anything but a stylistic precursor to what was to follow, as the band return with a record that sees them navigate towards a more refined, electronic/kraut-infused path. ‘Ores & Minerals’ melds together the scuzzy indie rock facets of Mazes MK 1 with a subtle, if not tentative, appreciation of primitive computer techniques, steeped in motoric rhythms, loops and samples that become increasingly lucid with each listen. While the band have employed a slightly more complex approach here they’ve managed to retain the jaunty buoyancy that made their debut so unobtrusively charming, and after some line-up jiggling, their classic hooks are now enveloped in hypnotic psychedelia with a scattering of field recordings and instrumental tricks.

Opener and single ‘Bodies’ is testimony to it, with Jack Cooper’s minimalist lyricism being underpinned by repetitive loops, escalating into one long, mesmeric drone-scape, while ‘Jaki’ and instrumental ‘Leominster’ provide an introspective mystique that shows the band at their most contemplative. Here Mazes have delved into more embellished territory without sacrificing their un-pretentious disposition by keeping their aptitude for melody and nuance intact, whilst producing something that’s more likely to get us moving in the process. ‘Ores & Minerals’ exhibits a progression of a more singular and broad approach to musical craft and it’s an assurance of the ambitious direction Mazes are heading in.

Read all of our new album reviews here, in this month’s Loud And Quiet

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