Maff - Maff EP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Maff - Maff EP

by Sean Hewson Rating:6 Release Date:2015-03-13

Maff are a four piece from Santiago in Chile. This is their first EP and it's quite an intriguing one.

At around 33 minutes, it's long enough to be an album but they've chosen to release it as an EP. They might just be generous or maybe they're shying away from the definitive statement that an album would need to be and are just testing the water.

This is borne out by the actual EP which is (and this is probably unintentional) separated into a post-rock half and a more standard, indie-rock half, separated by a shoegaze song – ‘Someday’. It almost sounds as if the two halves were recorded at different times (the second half first) and in the interim there was a change of equipment and focus.

The first four songs - the instrumental ‘Act 1’, ‘Linger Around,’ ‘Walking on Fire’, and ‘Million Year Picnic’ - work the best sonically but rhythmically and melodically they are too simple to pass as post-rock. The singing, when it comes, is only for a verse (or chorus - as there's only one, it could be either).

‘Someday’ arrives, sounding rather like Prince's ‘Purple Rain’, until a female vocal appears to double the male vocal, and it all sounds a lot like Slowdive. Here, the lead guitar lines don't blend in as well as on previous tracks. They are using single, sustained notes, to orchestrate the song - much as Mogwai, Slowdive or Godspeed do - but the heavily flanged sound just doesn't sit correctly and is too obtrusive. However, the song itself is a good one and the synth-lines fill out the sound in a way that the guitar doesn't.

The last three songs – ‘You’, ‘Planet Wave’, and ‘Blue Seas’ - are all fast, well-written tunes, delivered as straight indie-rock but with the flanged lead lines now becoming annoying. ‘You’ is the best, based around a distorted, discordant guitar pattern. The lead guitar is too loud in the mix but is, at least, not flanged. However, the vocals have all been put through some kind of rotary speaker effect on someone's laptop and there's no reason for it, unless it's there to hide something.

The songs and playing on this EP are simple, but in a good way. I could identify the individual songs after one play through and that doesn't happen too often. The problems come with over-use of guitar and software effects, and with some strange decisions – ‘Planet Wave’ has a shouty, emo vocal and some pointless tambourine.

I'd love Maff to do an album of songs like ‘You’ but using the sounds and restraint that they use on ‘Act I’ and ‘Walking on Fire’. However, they probably won't.

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Nice one Sean

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