The first few seconds of “Mary” make Maven sound like a mixture of Nine Inch Nails and Stabbing Westward. The style of music that Maven plays on this extended single is something that took the world by storm about a decade ago, and the goal for Maven here is to try to give this style a whole fresh bit of paint. “The Candidate” starts out in a much more slinky way, with the lead vocals being the other thing that individuals can grab onto from the onset. The track tries to churn itself into something more fore the first half of its runtime, but does not have much traction. The moves from slow to faster tempo seems unnecessarily arbitrary in this track, almost as if Maven was told that it might be a good idea instead of actually believing part and parcel in this gambit.
There is still a radio friendly sound to this track, but there is little in the way of a nucleus that individuals can appreciate. The extended nearly-vocal breakdown in the middle of the track gives Maven the ability to come and recuperate to the degree that the last few seconds of the song are palatable, but the damage is done. The disc ends with “Silverbirds”, a track that brings Maven back from the edge of their style and places them into a much safer style. In this track, the band all comes together to work well underneath the production, a production that allows the band to be given a large, atmospheric feeling. This last track makes me have a little faith in the band, especially when the “Perfect Drug” – like piano line that distinguishes the two halves of the track kicks in.
The band only puts three tracks on this EP, but there is enough in the way of material that individuals will want to hear more from the act. The output is a little off and on, but there are enough solid steps forward that the average fan of goth and industrial music may just want to search out the upcoming full length. For the typical pop music fan, the band does not go into the realm of bands like Linkin Park and Hoobastank, and one can be reasonably sure that Maven will not enjoy much in the way of crossover success. Here’s to hoping things are a little more solid on the full-length.
Top Track: Silverbirds
Maven – Mary / 2006 Cordless / 3 Tracks / www.cordless.com / Reviewed 30 June 2006