The day was Thursday, the 11th of October, in the year of our Lord, 2012. I had just finished my 3rd Pumpkin-spice latte and felt a hankerin’ for a bathroom trip and maybe some live music. Much to my chagrin, I skipped the former, but was nevertheless pleased to find myself wander into the Empty Bottle for the Mazes Blazes CD Release Show. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one with music on me mind. It was as if the cool-autumn-breeze spent the whole evening blowing in mild-mannered 30-somethings. You know, the ones with jobs and manageable beards. Indeed, the scene was “cool” and quite calm for an alleged show about rock. It was like stepping into a whispery, wine-and-cheese networking event; in other words, my heaven. Jk?
For those of you not “in the know,” Mazes are a relatively obscure indie-offshoot of the longtime popular local act, the 1900s. Led by Edward Anderson and fellow 1900s transplant, Caroline Donovan, the quartet has three releases under its belt, including brand new LP, Mazes Blazes. Does anyone know of this band? Is it just me, or is it becoming even harder to get the word out these days? Well, I’m not certain, but these peeps deserve some notoriety, a pat on the tush(es), or dare I say it, MUSE-level fame. I kid, but for those who appreciate the finely crafted pop tunes of the 1900s--only pared down, whacked out and sung by dueling gentle-sirs and lady, then this IS the band for you. In a city where the most heard are often the most connected, let’s turn our attention to a band that actually deserves it.
Thursday night’s performance was enjoyable and relatively quick as the band tore through songs spanning their entire discography. Highlights included the sweet harmonies of “Litsa,” perennial favorite “I Have Laid in the Darkness of Doubt” and the first-released single off of Mazes Blazes, “Peace Can Do No Wrong." At least three additional tracks were played with origins still shrouded in mystery (probably new stuff). Compared to the known tracks, these sounded especially groove-based and moodier, substituting standard folk-imagery for excursions down dark-desert-highways.
Unfortunately, missing from the proceedings was bassist & Anderson foil, Tom Smith. Smith was introduced to the band on the Mazes Messes’ EP and has been a quality alternative on lead vocal. Ah well, he doesn’t live here! What can you do?
All things considered, a solid and well performed show. Check out the video for “Peace Can Do No Wrong” below and witness choir people scatter amongst the floor.