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John Maus is a curious character who looks to be next in line for youth adulation hot on the heels of the likes of Ariel Pink (who Maus has collaborated with as part of Haunted Graffiti and Gary War) and Panda Bear. Upset The Rhythm head honcho Chris Tipton is an obsessive fan of Maus and has sung his praises on many an occasion and still I'm yet to give his work the full attention it deserves. Shame on me. I caught him on tour earlier this year and found his impassioned, air punching performance to be as exhilarating as it was bemusing but there was no doubt that his music is amazingly catchy. Maus's vision encapsulates elements of punk rock, gothic pop, new romantic, '80s synth soundtracks and aching ballads, transforming them into a overtly passionate form of modern underground pop music that comes complete with dreamy arrangements, saturated synth tones, lo-fi beats and Maus's signature ghostly baritone. Much like Ariel Pink, Maus's work tries to have it all, cramming as much as he can into his twisted pop vision whilst writing undeniably legitimate pop music that gets in the head and stays with you from the first listen. Tracks like '...And The Rain', 'Hey Moon', 'Streetlight' and Maus's mutated baroque take on Body Count's 'Cop Killer' are all outstanding songs and with a few more listens I can imagine myself getting completely hooked on this album. Definitely a must hear record. For fans of all things '80s, from John Foxx to Jerry Goldsmith... it's all here. 'Burn down, down, down the Hot Topic, don't let it steal your soul', etc.
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