John Maus’ world is set free in Screen Memories
The wait is over, John Maus is back with the new record Screen Memories. After finishing his PhD in Political Science, the songwriter from Austin, Minnesota, presents yet another work that is perfectly in tune with his ever so typical traits. Maus’ synth-pop emanates nostalgia through every single chord, and Screen Memories is undoubtedly a reencounter with the dancing discharges of the 80s.
The negative reviews of his first records – Songs (2006) and Love Is Real (2007) – were not enough to diminish the significance of John Maus. Quite the opposite in fact, Maus lived in pop’s shadow and elevated himself as an icon of post-punk revivalism.
The acclaimed We Bust Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (2011) had already given us a couple of progressive tracks, particularly Hey Moon and Cop Killer. Screen Memories blossoms with well-sounded bass lines, loaded with groove, and the recurrent partners in crime alongside the usual and restless synths. Most of the songs surface through epileptic keyboards, which elevate and winder the reverberating and melancholic voice of Maus. However, in Sensitive Recollections there is time for steady rhythms and introspective vocalizations.
For this tour he came with something new, in sharp contrast with his recent records, appearing on stage with a band – bass, drums and synths. Live, the adrenaline multiplies itself, Maus embodies the songs with a physicality that is absolutely electrifying. The aquarium of Galeria Zé dos Bois got trapped in Maus’ demoniac unrest, the audience was infected by his happiness and physical freedom. The band’s support strengthened the intensity of the songs, particularly the brand new Touchdown and The Combine.
John Maus will always be more than just a collaborator of Ariel Pink. He will always be part of pop’s avant-garde. Screen Memories is a free-spirit record, it asks for dancing steps and leaps, it asks for chaos and emotional discharge.