Mazes — Mazes Blazes

Band: Mazes
Album: Mazes Blazes
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Free mp3: “Lois & Clark & Lake” (expires October 25)

“What do you know about faces? Are they cold or are they kind?” Nice one, guys.

I read into Mazes by way of The 1900s. I don’t know that that makes me unique. The 1900s is a reputable local that I and so many others dearly miss. It quite pains me to think that this video might be the only remaining vestige of a time when we could openly watch Dan the Fan bouncing to a 1900s live show. I don’t know that I can picture it on my own anymore.

Had Mazes in Mazes Blazes comfortably nestled into the things they already did in their self-titled debut of a few years ago, I would continue scavenging for beats in this write-up to mention The 1900s in some capacity because they and what you might recall on the Mazes debut is quite similar if you listen to both enough. (Similar, anyway, to a pre-ROTC 1900s. Return of the Century was The 1900s taking delightfully huge breaths.)

What we’re to deal with in Mazes Blazes, however, is totally unlike the Mazes I’m only just getting to know. The album is a trip in whimsy, really, and reaches a level of ambition that I haven’t heard in awhile. From any band. The disparity between Mazes and Mazes Blazes is a wonderful mindfuck.

Mazes Blazes is colorful and bright and kindly spaces out in all sorts of directions. Much of the time it seems as if Mazes is up in the sky somewhere putting on the show of their lives to a chorus of angels pleasantly seated on a bit of cloud yucking the whole thing up.

Somehow “Magnificent Beast” has become one of my favorite tracks on the record and I don’t know how that happened. I think because after awhile its distorted vocals and perpetual drum drubs all seemed so unexpectedly cohesive. An amalgam, perhaps, of what Mazes might have set out to do with their Blazes. No one track sounds quite like the next, especially once the real eccentricities set in about “222X3” or so. I’d need to endorse an obligatory handful, at least, for you to even sense the kind of ground they cover in their offbeat take of an alternative album. And yet it all kind of fits together after enough spins.

I did a work out with Mazes and their label to give away a track from Mazes Blazes free for one week. It’s “Lois & Clark & Lake.” Link at top.

And a few you should stream. It’s in your best interest:


  • The Chicago-based Mazes is Edward Anderson, Pat Cavanaugh, Caroline Donovan, Charlie D’Autremont, Tom Smith and Charlie Ransford. | Facebook
  • Buy Mazes Blazes for seven bucks. Free streams. | Bandcamp
  • Or splurge for the vinyl (like I did) for ten bucks. | Parasol
  • Mazes are at Bernice’s Tavern (3238 S. Halstead St.) on Friday.

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About Eric

Hello there. Email your things to chicagotunes[at]gmail[dot]com.
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