As many of you already know, JOVM turns five today – and in the blogosphere five years is the equivalent of about 95 years. And as i’ve mentioned numerous times on the site, over the last few years my focus, and in turn the site’s focus has been increasingly international. Of course, that often leads to new and unheard of discoveries Stateside but it also leads to the discovery of rather cultish genre and sub-genres in rather far-flung locales across our little blue rock. Adding to the serendipitous discovery that’s the bedrock of the site, I recently received an email about the Santiago, Chile-based shoegaze rock quartet Maff. 

Childhood friends and co-founders Richi Gómez (vocals, bass and guitar) and Nicolás “Nek” Colombres (drums) have played together in a number of Santiago-based punk bands when they formed Maff back in 2012. Martín Colombres (guitar) and Talo Correa (guitar, bass, vocals and synth) were recruited shortly thereafter to flesh out the band’s sound. With the forthcoming release of the Santiago, Chile-based quartet’s forthcoming self-titled debut, slated for a July 6 release, the band has started to receive attention internationally among their fellow musicians and blogs for material that thematically explores innocence, mystycism, true love, loss, drugs, freedom and timelessness, while sonically, the material draws from shoegaze, alt rock, noise pop and grunge – with a subtle nod to electronica, thanks to the incorporation of synths. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that the band has publicly cited The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, RIDE, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine as some of their primary influences. 

“Act 1″ the closing track of the album manages to be an effortless synthesis of shoegazer rock and power chord-based grunge rock as the song consists of alternating quiet and loud sections of sprawling, towering dirge-like guitar chords played through tons of effects pedals, propelled forward by a taut rhythm section. Interestingly, the song manages to only subtly nod towards classic shoegaze as it’s actually far heavier and bears a resemblance to Finelines-era My Vitriol – but with a subtle, cosmic polish.