For Fans Of
Newcastle four-piece Maids humbly categorise themselves as a fairly nondescript “heavy rock” act – a genre that, on their debut, self-titled EP feels a little less than adequate to accurately describe the eclectic mish-mash of sonic forces that make up its six tracks.
An ambitiously nuanced record that sees the quartet march headstrong and defiant to the beat of their own drum, it’s an impressive introduction that throws fiery post-hardcore, dance-pop, doom metal and experimental rock into the melting pot, forging a fairly unique sound in the process.
Tracks like openers ‘Dr. Gecko’ and ‘Mechanism’ cut through with the kind of jagged, blistering guitar lines and off-kilter, wailing vocals that feel immediately reminiscent of revered hardcore quintet The Blood Brothers or noise-rockers Mclusky, with a raucous, playfully aggressive energy that emanates freely.
‘Death to Computer’ and ‘Green’ summon idiosyncratic desert rock theatrics coupled with indie rock finesse, while ‘I’m Afraid’ is a refreshing departure into sludgy, atmospheric doom territory. It’s a mixed bag that works best when the band feel like a dynamic, cohesive unit – which, thankfully, is often.
Admittedly, particularly towards the second half of the EP, it can occasionally feel as though Maids are stretching somewhat beyond their reach by attempting to create such a deliberately motley palette. While an inarguably diverse collection of songs, it struggles to find an overall sense of cohesiveness and consistency. However, this is for the most part outweighed by how unabashedly fun the EP is, and the sheer distinctive edge at its core.
Maids’ eponymous EP achieves what all good rock records should upon first playthrough, leaving interest piqued and a desire to see the studio material translated to a live setting. While not as fully realised as it could be, the initial spark of immense promise and glimmers of brilliance make it enough to look forward to whatever the group have up their sleeves for the near future.
1. Dr. Gecko
3. Death to Computer
5. I’m Afraid