Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Maniac 7"!

Hey! How about a brand spanking new 7" record from one of the best bands in the powerpop/punk universe? Maniac, L.A.'s favorite gentlemen punks, authored one of the finest albums of recent memory in 2014's sizzler Demimonde. And the singles they've released since then just keep getting better. New 7" "Midnight Kino", issued by Modern Action Records, continues in the band's signature style. The title track is a fast and frantic stormer with top-tier hooks and wonderfully strange lyrics that I can only describe as genius. While by no means the only band walking the fine line between first wave punk rock and the herky-jerky new wave of the same period, Maniac always manages a fresh take on these classic sounds. Zache Davis is one of the most underrated songwriters out there, and James Carman is an absolute ball of fire on drums. I also love the way Andrew Zappin and Justin Maurer combine their talents on guitar. If Wire crashed a party thrown by the 1977 Ramones, it would sound like the last 45 seconds of "Midnight Kino".

On the B-side, "Precision Accuracy" slows the pace a tad and really lets those melodies breathe. The guitars are as punchy as ever, but you can really hear some '60s California pop sensibilities bubbling under. I'm reminded just a little of L.A. Drugz - which is hardly a surprise given the incestuous relationship between the two bands (now featuring three members in common).

Last year, I credited Maniac with having one of the most outstanding singles of 2015. Take it to the bank that the band will also be in the running for top single of 2016!


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