Nobody likes a teaseor so they say. But being teased dilates pupils, opens sweat glands and leaves you wanting more. Haunted Maze's six-song debut EP is an anti-cathartic tease, gosh bless it.
The project is the brainchild of Dead Hipster DJ and Black National Recording ace Chris Baumann. Shahs' Colin Johnson rocks the drums and Sick Kids XOXO's Hoyt Smith joins in on guitar.
The opener, "The Debts," kicks off with Baumann's moody synth work and winding layers of jangling guitars. The repetitive vocal line and click-clack of Johnson's driving drums marks this as more than some crybaby shoegazery; instead, the track bears weight and has a certain air of defiance about it.
This may seem like an odd time to mention Golden Earring (when is it an appropriate time to do that?), but throughout the album, I found myself thinking of some of the trippier parts of Golden Earring tracks, but maybe with a pinch of Joy Division and some of the spunk from INXS' Shabooh Shoobah. Like a man given half a plate, I look forward to ingesting more of Baumann's tuneage in the near future.
Haunted Maze plays a CD release show at the Palace Fri., Jan. 25, at 9 PM with Shahs, Boys and DJ/MG. Free.