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Mazes

Mazes

(Parasol; US: 17 Mar 2009)

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.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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