Childhood friends and co-founders Richi Gómez (vocals, bass and guitar) and Nicolás “Nek” Colombres (drums) have played together in a number of Santiago, Chile-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. And shortly before the release of their self-titled debut effort last month, the Chilean quartet started to receive international attention among their fellow musicians and across the blogosphere for material that that thematically explores innocence, mystycism, true love, loss, drugs, freedom and timelessness, while sonically drawing from shoegaze, alt rock, noise pop and grunge – with a subtle nod to electronica, thanks to the incorporation of synths.
Of course, based on the description of their sound, 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.
Interestingly, the album’s first single is also their self-titled album’s closing track, “Act 1.” And the track is an 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. 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.
The recently released official video is shot in black and white by director and photographer Tim Busko, with animated dolls by Rebecca Berdar features some prototypical shoegazer/psychedelic imagery including kaleidoscopes, trees, flowers, cemeteries, bugs and dolls — sometimes shot in blurry closeups before suddenly becoming clearer. It’s fittingly hallucinogenic and evokes tripping and viewing every day objects in an occasionally frighteningly new light.