Q (UK) - - Q Review New Albums - RU­PERT HOWE

Spec­tral re­turn from Amer­ica’s pro­fes­sor of pop.

Like his for­mer col­lege room­mate Ariel Pink, synth-pop poly­math John Maus af­fects to be the most awk­ward of per­form­ers, the re­luc­tant star who forces him­self into the lime­light. It’s true Maus has loftier dis­trac­tions – he re­cently spent two years com­plet­ing a doc­tor­ate in po­lit­i­cal sci­ence. But this com­pan­ion piece to 2017’ s en­gag­ingly arch Screen Me­mories is a re­minder of his tal­ent for de­liv­er­ing gothic-pop minia­tures in­fused with wry hu­mour. Dump­ster Baby sounds like John Wa­ters do­ing Bauhaus; Mind The Droves twists post-punk into kinky knots; and the mor­dant 1987 re­fracts ’ 80s nostal­gia through a cold­wave hall of mir­rors. An in­trigu­ing, if not quite es­sen­tial, ad­di­tion to the Maus canon. Lis­ten To: Dump­ster Baby | Mind The Droves | 1987

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