Christmas has come early at Rutledge Manor! Or maybe it's a late Halloween treat. Either way, I'm in powerpop/punk heaven! A few months back, I was all geeked out over L.A. Drugz - who feature Justin from the Clorox Girls and James from Images. Their new EP is my favorite release of 2013 so far (more on that in a couple weeks!). Well, Justin and James also play in another L.A. based group called Maniac starring Zache Davis from The Girls on vocals and bass. In on the action as well is guitarist Andrew Zappin. The lineup is star-studded and does not disappoint! The band's new single on Vancouver's La-Ti-Da Records is a total must-have for any regular follower of this blog. Fortunately this is not one of those situations where a bunch of guys start a band so they can branch out into jazz or world music. If you're a fan of any of the aforementioned bands or related acts like Red Dons and Cute Lepers, you'll love Maniac as well. The new single delivers two stellar tracks of catchy '77 style punk informed by power pop, and I'm especially enamored with the B-side "Pepe". It's so ridiculously good that it could very well give other bands inferiority complexes! Zappin's lead guitar work is absolutely phenomenal, and that central melody will quickly bore its way into your brain. With a full-length album coming soon, this single is just a tiny taste of what's to come from Maniac. Perhaps we've got an early frontrunner for next year's album of the year!