Chicago pop-rockers Mazes know their way around sweet harmonies, that much is certain. While they rely on these more often than they do catchy melodies or guitar work, the retro-sounding nuggets such as “Cat State Comity” and the warm, country-tinged “I Have Laid in the Darkness of Doubt” instantly gleam. The few times they opt for the summery, California driving pop, as is the case with the short, snappy “Love to Lay”, it comes off decent but not incredible. With the light, airy harmonies of Caroline Donovan, Mazes makes the most of the album on “News From Day One” which brings to mind the Mamas and the Papas. Probably the highlight has to be “Face Down on Forest Roads” which mixes the new with the old musically and lyrically. A close second is the thoughtful, calming and soothing “Song for Helen” which could be a Ron Sexsmith B-side.
// Notes from the Road
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