The Mahas, Dead of Night

The Mahas, Dead of Night

I have to admit it: when I caught The Mahas live, back in the summer at the Free Press Summerfest, I wasn’t all that impressed. They weren’t bad, by any means, but as they banged on their guitars and yelled to a relatively sparse crowd of fans and friends, I couldn’t muster much more than a shrug. The Mahas themselves didn’t seem to be feeling it much, either, just standing up there running through songs like they were ready to just be done and get off the stage.

If the band’s new Dead of Night 7″ is any indicator, though, my feelings of overall meh-ness may’ve been due more to the lackluster sound at the stage the band was playing on (and possibly the crappy hot/wet weather) — when I saw ’em, they sounded muddy, loud, and not much else. Now, though, with headphones on, what I’d dismissed as dull, by-the-numbers garage-punk unfolds to reveal some surprisingly intricately layered, well-crafted rawk.

It’s still garage-y, obviously, but on even the most strictly garage-punk track on here, title track “Dead of Night,” there’re still nearly subliminal hints of melody lurking beneath the pounding, hammering, down-strummed guitars and drums. Said title track, by the way, kicks in like the cops invading your home in the middle of watching late-night reruns, barreling into your ears like no band since fellow Houston punks The Monocles really has, at least for me.

The band really shows its colors on the entertainingly-named “Ghostshit,” mining a surprisingly warm, friendly guitar line that calls to mind yet another H-town punk band, Something Fierce, and which acquits itself pretty damn ably. It’s fiery and blazing, yet still subliminally melodic and catchy, so much so that I find myself grinning and bobbing along as I listen; I can scarcely wait ’til the end of the song to hit the “Back” button and hear it all again.

Which I’ll grant does a disservice to final track “Fool,” which practically runs full-tilt through your head, the guitars playing nearly the same damn chord, Ramones-style, the whole way. It’s a nicely vitriolic fuck-you of a song, to boot, giving a big middle finger to the snickering, too-cool crowd and declaring independence at the same time.

As for me, well, I stand happily corrected; turns out you can’t always trust a first impression, after all.

[The Mahas are playing 12/14/10 at Fitzgerald's, along with Turbo Fruits, Pujol, & The Cutters.]
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Review by . Review posted Tuesday, December 14th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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4 Responses to “The Mahas, Dead of Night

  1. Jacob on December 15th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Hehe, good point. I guess that’s why we switched “Fool” and “Ghostshit” on the actual 7″.

  2. Jeremy Hart on December 15th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Aha! Makes more sense that way, really, ’cause then “Ghostshit”‘s more like a B-side… Kinda blows my whole second paragraph out of the water, though. :)

  3. SPACE CITY ROCK » Tonight: The Cutters + The Mahas + Oberhofer + Tapes ‘N Tapes + Broken Social Scene + More on February 17th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    […] to finally see ‘em. Plus, there’s The Mahas, whose recent Dead of Night 7″ impressed me quite a damn bit; it’ll be cool to see them again now that I’m a bit more familiar with the band. Should […]

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Weird Party + The Mahas + Dex Romweber Duo (MP3!) + Woozyhelmet + Cancellations/Reschedulings + More on August 5th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    […] dudes The Mahas, who’ve also managed to win me over in a big way this past year or so. Their Dead of Night 7″ turned out to be impressively tight and melodic beneath the loud, raw noise, and when I […]

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