Posts Tagged ‘Mazes’

Mad Mackerel has been around for ten years now.

We’ve come a long way.

Early days using Google’s blogspot where our posts were regularly and erroneously taken down through DMCA notices until the moment when Google just erased us completely, our move to WordPress in April 2010 where Kurt Vile, Beach Fossils, Johnny Flynn and Band of Horses were among our first posts. Those were the days of Mrs Mackerel’s TFI Friday posts, downloadable Best of the Month round-ups, and the early days of Soundcloud and Bandcamp. On we went with our MM Shorts series reaching one thousand posts, Best of the Month was replaced by Songs You Should Have Heard This Week, and a collection of 15-1 interviews with the likes of Blitzen Trapper, Simone Felice, Torres and Young Knives. And every year we published our collection of favourite tunes from some of our much loved and stalwart contributors – Mrs Mackerel (of course), Chris T Popper, Barry-Sean, The Italian Job, Polly Pocket, Dr Roddy, and even some Mackerel sprat contributions.

So to mark ten years of tunes, over a million hits, 6,174 posts on WordPress, 9,993 tracks listed on Hype Machine, 5,691 WordPress followers and even 1,113 likes on Facebook, we’ve asked our key contributors to share their favourite songs of the past ten years and compiled them into one lovely big list of 200 wonderful tunes for you.

Bit by bit, over the next few days we’ll be sharing them all for you – check through and see what you might have missed.

PART 1 (200-181)

200 Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences – The Evil Thoughts (2008)

The black humour, the self-deprecation, the slightly carnivalesque musical stylings and a story of self loathing. A wounded, nihilistic anthem with a wonderful, British oddball-ness about it.

 

199 PortisheadWe Carry On (2008)

Hypnotically oppressive and menacing. Built on a insistent two-note electro riff, We Carry On is as claustrophobic as music can get.

 

198 Dune Rats – Dalai Lama (2014)

 

Just about the dumbest stoner anthem ever written and that’s high praise given the competition, and definitely the best song with only one line and five words. Altogether now Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana

 

189 Dutchess & The Duke – The River (2009)

Stark, sparse campfire song, with a captivating, morose beauty.

 

196 T. Hardy Morris – OK Corral (2013)

 

Pure back-porch Americana, dark alt-country shot through with a touch of psychedelia.

 

195 together PANGEA – River (2014)

 

A hyperactive smear of ripcord riffs and sneering angst. Garage punk perfection.

 

194 Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kiss Me Again (2008)

 

Sultry, utterly gorgeous, and captivating opening track from her second album, recorded when she was only 19. Weary beyond her years.

 

193 Grasshouse – A Cockroach (2010)

Excellent, brooding indie rock. A malevolent and dark-hearted sonic delight.

 

192 Fat White Family – Bomb Disneyland (2013)

 

A Stooges style riff and sordid lyrics aligned to an irresistibly malignant rockabilly groove.

 

191 Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings (2012)

 

Long before the Emperor’s new clothes of recent releases, Fear Fun was one of the finest albums of 2012 and this track with its nod to the Wall of Sound days and echoing guitars was one of the standouts.

 

190 Parquet Courts – Dust (2016)

Droning, danceable guitars brilliantly provide a backdrop to a jittery 50 word essay on the inherent grossness of dust and the futility of cleaning. “It follows, now swallow, You’re biting it now, Suffocate, suffocate, Breathe, Dust is everywhere, Sweep”.

 

189 Eagleowl – Motherfucker (2008)

 

Like a Scottish Low, Motherfucker is a devastating slow burner with an opening line to match, “Can I call you motherfucker, would your father be offended?

 

188 Elvis Perkins In Dearland – Doomsday (2009)

Brassy, infectious, sad but happy, New Orleans style folk.

 

187 No Age – Fever Dreaming (2010)

 

This song simply steams out of the traps like it has just been released from the punk heyday of 1977.

 

186 The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind (2009)

The finger-picking guitar is a brilliant back-drop to the soaring vocals. Low lights, Friday night, bit of kitchen dancing. Irresistible.

 

185 Mazes – Skulking (2013)

 

A krautrock inspired, four to the floor drone classic that ends in a classic Velvets style fuzzed up breakdown.

 

184 Twilight Hotel – Mahogany Veneer (2011)

 

A brilliant combination of alt-country and spaghetti-western desert twang that moves languidly to conclusion via poignant, scalpel sharp lyrics

 

183 Greylag – Yours To Shake (2014)

A moody take on the nature of good vs evil told through the lens of muscular, gnarly folk-rock.

 

182 Last American Buffalo – Baby I’m Alive (2012)

 

Perfectly paced, mournfully traditional Americana.

 

181 Two Wounded Birds – Night Patrol (2011)

 

Stunning surf-rock twang with echoes of Link Wray and Roy Orbison.

 

MM's Best Of The Year 2014

Today the countdown begins of Mad Mackerel’s favourite 100 songs of 2014. From Monday to Friday check back to see what tickled the earbuds of MM’s contributors, followed by our Albums of the Year at the weekend and then our individual contributors’ choices.

So without further ado….

100 Micah P Hinson – The Same Old Shit

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99 Wooden Wand – Dambuilding

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98 Juan Wauters – Water

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97 Shellac – Dude Incredible

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96 Broncho – What

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95 Shunkan – Wash You Away

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94 Martyr Privates – Someone’s Head

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93 Slaves – Hey

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92 Tense Men – RNRFON

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91 Dead Fingers – Big Black Dog

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90 Jamie T – Peter

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89 Avers – Girl’s With Headaches

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88 Mazes – Astigmatism

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87 New Bums – Black Bough

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86 Thurston Moore – Detonation

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85 Spray Paint – Cussin

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84 White Sands – The Wait

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83 Eagulls – Possessed

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82 Happyness – Naked Patients

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81 Steve Gunn – Milly’s Garden

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Check back tomorrow for numbers 80 – 61.

1. She Keeps Bees (featuring Sharon Van Etten) – Owl
2. Slaves – Hey
3. Mazes – Salford
4. Itasca – Nature’s Gift
5. Allo Darlin’ – Romance And Adventure
6. Ausmuteants – Fed Through A Tube

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MM Shorts 582: Mazes

Posted: June 26, 2014 in Alternative, Indie, Music, Rock
Tags:

Ramshackle indie rockers Mazes will release their third long-player, Wooden Aquarium this September.

The first single from it is the outstanding Astigmatism, which brilliantly utilises a pulsating riff and queasy guitar breakdown to perfect effect. It is up there with their unheralded classic Skulking, and may even be their finest moment to date.

Pre-order the album from Fat Cat Records here.

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The Crooked BrothersHaving spent two days at the Great Escape mostly under a regular onslaught of aggressive guitars and drums, it was a relief to head out early and catch a marvellous set of twangy Americana, folk and country from The Crooked Brothers who were playing at the Alberta Music Week Canada Showcase – not only that but there was a mighty fine breakfast on offer too.

Highlights were the easygoing groove of opening track 17 Horses and the skittering country-funk of a new track about selling organs on the black market…

We followed it up with a trip to see Bridie Jackson & The Arbour whose gentle folk ballads and sweet harmonies further soothed the soul and suitably refreshed we were ready to tackle some of the more intense bands on our schedule.

During the first two days we had been thwarted in our attempts to see Theo Verney, but a trip to the Loft for an Alternative Escape event should have put that right. Except late running meant we saw the ferocious onslaught of three piece Get Hot (“this song’s called Drugs, this song is called Fight, this song is about smoking, it’s called Never Give Up. YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP“) who were pretty entertaining in a wholly visceral kind of way. As we waited for Theo to take the stage, we got instead P.S. I Love You who swathed their power chords in a guitar fuzz that made an indiscernible whole that was enough to send us back out into the street. Theo had eluded us for a final time.

The Great Escape - A PlaylistThe evening’s entertainment started with a brilliant set of thrilling punk rock from Tonbridge Wells duo Slaves who melded the best of Carter the USM with the Dead Kennedys interspersed with some tall tales of Big Foot in the Kent woods, loose women, and fighting girls. Highlights included Nervous Energy, Where’s Your Car Debbie? and White Knuckle Ride. Next up was one of Mr Popper’s must-sees, the experimental mix of drone, krautrock and punk of Dublin’s Girl Band who duly delivered in spades, and in Lawman provided one of the songs of the festival.

The frantic, non-stop punk from White Lung seemed to fall a bit flat, with not enough variation to keep the crowd interested and what should have been a apocalyptic event passed by with not much more than a whimper. And so it was to headliners Mazes, who by contrast slowed the pace to something that was perhaps overly pedestrian, and it was only the outstanding set-closer Skulking that brought the crowd to life and showed how good the three-piece really can be…

Then it was back out into the howling gale that has buffeted the sea-front all weekend for one final time. Happy to report the Great Escape lived up to its name and exceeded expectations – it has all the feel of a mini SXSW without the queues and admittedly without the weather. Roll on 2015.

 

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The Great Escape - A PlaylistToday, Chris T Popper and I are heading south to Brighton and our first visit to the Great Escape festival.

There are a whole host of bands we’re looking forward to seeing, from the South American punk-pop of Las Kellies, the angst of Gambles, the spectral folk of Mirel Wagner and the junkyard blues of the Amazing Snakeheads, to the stoned slacker indie of Dune Rats and the growling garage of Theo Verney.

Perhaps best of all though is that element of surprise, the anticipation of stumbling across something new that makes an event like this such good fun. And there is plenty of scope for that here with over 400 bands playing sets. Happy days.

Until then, have a listen to some of the highlights that we have already picked out – these are all high on our must-see list…a twenty five song salute!

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