The Welsh punk group Maines deliver engagingly captivating bursts of energy on their personable new EP Spring — which feels aptly named, considering the parallel of the surging music to the bursts of growth that emerge when spring itself actually unfolds, slowly walking the environment out of wintry stillness. Maines circulate their songs around richly direct melodies that feel like they’re leaping ahead at a sometimes staggering speed. They bury these melodies under a striking array of textures from the super heavy, metallic riffing of tracks like “Spider Skull” to the more drawn out, contemplation-oriented melodies of songs like “Malkovich.”
As the energy swirls throughout this record, the songs prove strikingly intricate but very accessible. Brightly energetic guitar lurches really define the spirit of this album, which sounds well-suited to a no doubt exciting live show experience. Although the most familiar aspects of the super heavy punk like Maines wheel out might ordinarily feel a bit down-tuned and oppressive, this band actually ends up feeling a bit bright and upbeat, like the energy of a very real determination orchestrated these songs’ construction.
The sonic mood feels very well-expressed in the poignant lyrics. On “Spider Skull,” for instance, the band’s vocalist memorably sings: “Move when you get down/ Love while you’re here now/ Connect Body and Soul/ And lead with your mind.”
Although Maines do get super heavy at times, they also pack some really vibrant dynamics into their music. The vocal work, for instance, always proves pretty expressively dynamic and on the softer, accessible end of the spectrum. The singing sounds filtered through energetic longing. Meanwhile, track five — called “Dreams” — features melodies that hinge on familiar bursts of energy but have been wound down significantly in intensity. While the captivating structure remains, here and at select moments elsewhere on Spring, Maines perform softer, shimmering guitar parts that feel like the album’s overall energy has reverberated out to some outer reaches of a soundscape. The standout closing track, called “Whales,” continues this feeling as the band’s gently reverberating guitar melodies shine.
Check out the EP below!