“Someone’s trying to write a song to change the whole world…” sings Otis Mace on A-Marie, the third of four songs on the Auckland troubadour’s latest EP release. It’s a simple enough line, and one we can all relate to. It also might very well work as a mission statement for Mace. It certainly had me thinking about what might motivate him, as a much-travelled singer/songwriter, hovering around the periphery of the local music scene for at least three full decades. During that time he’s travelled the world, living in London for a spell, performing as a busker, as a solo act, and as part of various bands. Trends, scenes and venues have come and gone, yet Mace has remained faithful to the modus operandi that has served him well. ‘Balaclava’ offers up a prime example of that, four quirky songs that traverse precisely the sort of unusual frameworks we’ve come to expect. From the power-pop bent of the title track and opener, across the humour and eccentricity of The Revenge of the Five Hundred Thousand Tonne Baby, right on through to the environmentally conscious closer Miner Key, which reminds us all that once we’ve screwed with nature, we’ll never get it back… “Once it’s gone, it’s gone, you see.” Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Tony McAdam at the Ice Station Zebra studios in London, ‘Balaclava’ is a more than worthy addition to an already extensive catalogue of work.