What I really like about Demimonde is that it brings together the myriad of musical influences existing within Maniac's stellar lineup. Lead singer/bassist Zache Davis is well-known for his work with The Girls and Cute Lepers. Rhythm guitarist Justin Maurer (ex Clorox Girls, Red Dons) and drummer James Carman (Images) are currently band mates in the supergroup L.A. Drugz. Along with amazing lead guitarist Andrew Zappin, these guys represent the perfect combination of everything that's cool about melodic punk and power pop. Davis has written some truly outstanding songs, and he sings them with conviction and desperation. Maurer and Zappin play off of each other in creative, compelling ways. And with a dynamo like Carman ably pushing the pace, this is an album bound to leave you short of breath. I feel like I need to run around the house in a full sprint and start jumping on furniture - just to keep up. My cats would be traumatized.
By the time I first absorbed the chorus to "Live Like Bats", I knew that Demimonde was going to be everything I was expecting and then some. Lately I've found myself repeating that chorus just about everywhere I go. It's just so catchy! Fast, fist-pumping tracks like "Wendy, Same Thing" and "Party City" proceed to ratchet up the energy in a major way. And once the band hits full stride on the frenetic "Dans Le Sang", it's obvious that this thrill ride isn't going to stop until it ends with a magnificent crash (the manic racer "Alright, Okay"). With echoes of everything from The Ramones to early Wire to modern-day greats like The Briefs, Demimonde hits that perfect blend of catchy '77 punk and jittery new wave. And with all due credit to Mark Rains (engineering) and Hadji Husayn (mastering), this album just sounds phenomenal. Davis, long an underrated figure in punk music, is more than ready for his close-up. And the exceptionally talented Zappin is quickly becoming one of my favorite lead guitarists. In one of the best years for music that I can ever remember, Maniac has delivered a surefire top ten album. Downloads available now, and the vinyl ships next month!