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Boomkat Product Review:
John Maus has become an unlikely star thanks to the unstoppable charm of his 'We Must Be The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves' LP, and the highly entertaining live shows he played all over the world in its wake. The academic and former Ariel Pink sideman now presents, yes, a collection of rarities and previously unreleased music, and the truth is that the range and quality of the material on offer should make it of interest to more than merely the Maus-obsessed. The thing is, his own aesthetic preferences are pretty consistent - as far back as 2003 he was favouring the kind of minimalist synth-pop arrangements, mannered vocals and Meek-ish reverb that have made him near-famous in recent times - perhaps the only deviation from this among the older tracks is 'Lost', a discordant noise-pop gem that places unusual (for Maus) emphasis on guitar. The most beguiling material seems to date from around 2010: 'Angel Of The Night' is a perfect piece of beatless, baroque new wave pop, and 'Castles In The Grave' hints at the greatness of future fare like 'Quantum Leap'. There are several more instant Maus classics on here, without doubt: 'Mental Breakdown', 'All Aboard', 'No Title (Molly)' and 'Bennington' are pristine, unforgettable.