Boomkat Product Review:
Despite it's appearance on Upset The Rhythm, this debut LP from John Maus has got Paw Tracks stomped all over it... As a member of everyone's favourite weirdo-pop purveyors Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and acting keyboard player for the Animal Collective's Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox, Jane), John Maus has glowing leftfield CV which he's called on for a bit of back up (Ariel Pink produce and appear) on 'Songs'; his five-year in the making debut LP. Comprised almost entirely of synths, drum-machines and Maus' own vocals, 'Songs' could well be the bastard offspring of Giorgio Moroder in Eighties Soundtrack mode - with the kind of bitter-sweet melodies and baroque flourishes that framed so much teenage-angst during that decade. Kicking off with the prosaically titled 'Opening', Maus plunges us into a grandstanding bout of church organ that climbs and climbs... Before wrapping itself up with the minimum of fuss. From here, 'Time To Die' gives us the first chance to evaluate the man's larynx-abiltiy - with a vocal style that has an Ian Curtis bruise atop it's clipped-glottal brusqueness, whilst the backdrop is made up of fizzing electronics and skyburst melodies. Elsewhere, 'Maniac' is a pulsating electro-pop nose-bleed, 'And Heaven Turned To Her Weeping' is the sound of scarred electronic skies, whilst 'Just Wait Till Next Year' takes a cue from Bowie in it's AM melodies. Odd on first listen, appealing on second and proper smitten thereafter, John Maus has more than overcome expectations with this cracked mirror view of the Eighties. On song!