Various Artists - 'Music For Maniacs' (Wanda Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 03:20

Music For ManiacsHas there ever been a better (or more apt) album title than this?


Containing a dozen tracks exclusive to this release from the same amount of top notch punk rock bands 'Music For Maniacs' is presented on the most glorious slab of vinyl, something that has to be seen to be believed, plus you also get a further twelve sampler tracks available as an additional bonus download. I tell you with this release Wanda Records really have set the standard by which all such future compilation albums should be measured.


Not content with simply looking like the best record you’ll buy this year, this beast of a release also sounds mighty damn fine on the death deck too, the A side kicking off with a sensational glunk rock 1-2-3 from The Shoemakers, Dime Runner and Kevin K Band. Fuck if this had been released as a split single I’d already be calling it the vinyl release of the year but there’s another 9 songs to get through yet, and next up is only Prima ‘bloody’ Donna. Does it get any better than this?


‘Autosuficiencia’, the track they offer up here is not exactly what I was expecting though from Kevin Preston and his feather cut topped mob, as whilst it is a sub Ramones riff fest, it is also sung in (what sounds like) Portuguese, but when have Prima Donna ever been predictable? It’s interesting though….. as is ‘Stuck On Yesterday’ by Los Pepes, who once again deliver a quality song edging more towards powerpop territory, and is a terrific follow up to their recent ‘No SOS’ 7”.


Nazi Dogs and Moped both offer up tunes flavoured by ’77, albeit the latter bunch sing in their mother tongue of German so ‘Soweit Das Auge Reicht’ loses a little in the immediacy stakes as a result (it’s still a quality heads down see you at the end tune mind). Something you cannot lay at the door of the first track on side B of this album Ricky C Quartet’s ‘Bully Billy Bad’. This twelve bar bastard is the perfect mix of Thunders and The Saints and I for one can’t get enough of it, as the boys have come up with possibly their best track so far.


If Prima Donna were the surprise of the LP’s A side then Berretta Love are the same for the flip with their track ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ starting like a long lost NYHC track before it unravels a melody line straight out of the early Manic St Preachers songbook in the most intriguing of ways. Anyone for some glamcore?


A Wanda band who make no secret of their love of the old guyliner are Bochum lads 2nd District, a band I’ve seen quite a few times and one I still can’t get on with due to singer Marc de Burgh sounding more like Brian Molko than he does himself these days. ‘Out Of Sight’ is still a damn decent song though, especially if you like that kind of thing, and I know a lot of people would like them if you gave them a go.


Another duo of bands that impress on 'Music For Maniacs' are The Not Amused and Erotic Devices, the former a sharp suited powerpop mob from out of Berlin not unlike the UK’s Cyanide Pills and the latter trio (also from Berlin) sneer out a slice of NYC ’77 influenced punk rock by the name of ‘Your Eyes Are Too Close Together’ in equally fine fashion.


Music LPS


Moving to the additional dozen tracks that act as a digital sampler to Wanda’s fantastic back catalogue, I have to give special mention to ‘Gambian Bumsters’ from my all-time favourite German punk rock band, Radio Dead Ones. To go into 2014 knowing that the world now has a Dead Ones shaped hole left in it by the untimely demise of this mob makes me really kind of sad, mainly because we may now never get to hear that Rich Jones produced album after all, but hearing this track again in all its 2 minutes and 36 seconds of (death or) glory makes that fact a little easier to accept. So with the exception of ‘Boundaries’ a truly superb track by Social Distrust the other ten tunes on the download kind of pale in comparison as Radio Dead Ones really were that fucking great, and more fool you if you never got off your arse to see them while you still could.


At 12 Euros you really would have to be a maniac not to want to own a copy of this mighty fine record.