Like any long-established genre, prog has its fair share of ultra-conservative adherents who – it has to be said – don’t really want to be challenged by music that strays from the usual orthodoxies. If that’s you, then please avoid trioVD at all costs, because Maze is absolutely fucking berserk. It’s the sound of three men kicking up clouds of dust, sparks and broken teeth with saxophone, guitar and drums as their weapons of choice.
Leeds avant-garde jazzers go ‘fucking berserk’. Yes!
The stuttering stomp of opener Brick and the epileptic, Zappa-tinged stabs ‘n’ syncopation of Ups take a clawhammer to the frowning face of jazz and bash it into new and thrillingly disorientating shapes.
The spectre of arch avant-parpmaster John Zorn looms large over the Leeds band’s work, but it would be wrong to accuse trioVD of following any path other than their own. Fans of Mr. Bungle, The Dillinger Escape Plan or Norway’s fearsome Shining will find much to love within the scattershot intricacies and fist-flurry dissonance of Morse, Interrupting and unhinged closer Pet Shop Boys, as will anyone who likes to take regular trips to jazz’s daunting outer limits.
Inspired, intense and madder than a stoat in a box of wasps, Maze is a marvel.