Maniac Maniac cassette

I was not feeling this one at first, but this collection of off-kilter new wave slow-dancers won me over in the end. First of all, MANIAC: change your name. Discogs lists 27 bands with the same name, several of them well-established and long-running. Also, this music is not maniacal, although the vocals do slightly veer into SAMHAIN-era Danzig on “Good Friends” and “Last Breath.” The rest of the songs sound more like basement-recorded MODERN ENGLISH or GARY NUMAN with thick synths, mid-tempo drum machine beats, and detached crooning. I was ready to pack it in and move on when “Queen” came on. It’s the kind of song that sounds so instantly classic that you wonder if it’s a cover. I checked and I couldn’t tell—is it a cover? It’s catchy, nostalgic, romantic, and danceable. If word gets out, it’ll end up in a Sofia Coppola film. “Take Me Home” works the same way with a perfect NEW ORDER tribute that will swell the hearts of any aging waver. Pop it on, guaranteed make-out sesh.