Song of the Day: Moral Mazes, “Gold Beach Fortress,” from Moral Mazes (Little Rocket/Rad Girlfriend, 2020)

I got an email about Moral Mazes two weeks ago and it mentioned Jawbox, so I figured I'd take the time to look into it. I absolutely did not expect, however, to uncover a supergroup studio project and one of my favorite releases of 2020...

If you're like me and had never heard of Moral Mazes before, prepare your mind to be blown, 'cause the core of the group consists of J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, etc.) on bass, drummer Darren Zentek (Donora, Kerosene 454, etc.), and Jeff Dean (Explode and Make Up, Airstream Futures, etc.) on guitar. As if that weren't enough, Jonah Matranga (Far, Onelinedrawing, etc.) sang on their first two-song 7" (Magic Tommy Jackson) in 2014—which was released by Bridge Nine, so, again, how the hell has this group flown so far under the radar!?—while Michael Feerick from Amusement Parks on Fire handles vocals on the new (also two-song) 7".

I have to say, I've since checked out Magic Tommy Jackson, and it's very good, but—at least for me—these new tracks totally crush it. Both retain that catchy-yet-dreary alt.-rock aesthetic, but there's just a hint more atmosphere this time around. I mean, I could listen to "Gold Beach Fortress" all day, that shit hits me in all the right ways and its chorus hook is simply impeccable. Killer bass tone and übercrisp drumming, too. I'm hooked!

Grab digital tracks or a limited edition 7" through Little Rocket Records in Europe or Rad Girlfriend Records in the U.S. (it's on Spotify as well, if you're one o' them types). I was too excited to pay attention when I ordered, but I guess the physical copies aren't actually shipping until early-December. Which is fine, of course, but I would have to classify it as nothing short of unacceptable if Moral Mazes waits another six years to lay down some more tunes! This stuff is too damn good!