‘Rough Master’ by Mauno (Album)

Mauno ‘Rough Master’ album cover

Mauno: you sense these four genuinely enjoy playing together

A playful debut from this Canadian indie four-piece that sounds deep, dreamy and good enough to leave us wanting more

Mauno 'Rough Master' album coverWhy listen to new bands? Why not stay with the same tried and tested groups, comfort albums and sonic sweet points you know will see you right? Well, sometimes it’s because they bring something new, attack you from a different angle and ultimately leave you smiling and smug for having taken the effort to find them. Mauro may just be such a group.

Their debut release, Rough Master, certainly hits enough highs to leave you reaching for the play button over and over again. Measured, playful vocals interweave delicately with deliberate and thoughtful guitar work on an off-indie down beat. Dreamy and slightly askew at times, standout tracks like Champs and Benny are evocative of the likes of Phoenix and late-60s Beach Boys bootlegs. The more introspective tracks like Nothing and Burn This bring to mind a Murray Street-era, softer-edged, Sonic Youth.

Well produced and unafraid to take risks, you sense these four genuinely enjoy playing together and though occasionally lacking immediacy Rough Master is all the more charming for it. This is a new band to embrace and enjoy; a rare and welcome thing that leaves us wondering what next.

Verdict: Depth and warmth for the winter months ahead

Sean McDade

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