I received the album Maniac by the Munich post-hardcore band Marathonmann way before its release on 19th May 2023. Short message: I very early decided that this is kind of German rock music I have to share with you. Here is my review of their fifth studio album overall.
Marathonmann – About The Artist
Marathonmann has been founded in 2011. They combine elements of post-hardcore and post-punk. Nowadays, the band is a quartet, lead by singer and bassist Michael Michi Leitner. The other band members are drummer Johannes Scheer and the guitarists Basti Scholl and Leo Heinz. The debut album of the band, Holzschwert, is dated as of 2013. Starting with their 2014 album … und wir vergessen was vor uns liegt, all Marathonmann albums had at least short appearances in the German charts. On top of that, the band released three EPs.
Marathonmann – Maniac – Track by Track
The fourteen song album lasts 42 minutes.
The title track is opening the 2023 Marathonmann album. Not a cover of the good, old Michael Sembello, but a rather intense intro-style song driven by synth sounds and the intense voice of Michi Leitner. Thus, the rather short song (2:14 minutes) definitely stays in one’s mind.
Feuer means “Fire” – and the band is on fire during this song. Nice, powerful rock drive from the very first minute. We finally arrived in the heartbeat of Maniac. The song has the fun of a punk track, but also the guitar power of post-hardcore rocking sounds. Very nice one.
Wir sind das Auryn, das Dir immer wieder Kraft verleiht (“We are the auryn, which is giving you strength again and again”) – not just due to the reference to the 1980’s movie classic The NeverEnding Story, this song is amazing. The single release has a lot of speed and energy and even works with surprising elements like saxophone lines. Cool.
This part of the album features three single releases in a row. Diamant is the second one. The song opens rather melodic and thus even feels a bit of kitschy. However, the Bavarians keep the emotional part of this song in a good balance. Towards the end, the fourth track even has some rather melancholic moments.
Not only due to the album title and cover, the album has some nostalgic 1980’s reference. Of course, one of the most obvious moments in that regard is 1985, which is looking back at the summer of 1985. Die Erinnerung und Tränen schmecken salzig, im Sommer 1985 (“The memories and tears taste salty in summer 1985”). Great song with a lot of 1980’s culturial references.
The title of the sixth song is a beautiful example how you can combine several words into one in German – this one translates roughly to “One Room Life”. The song has a nice punk touch
7. Du bist die Nacht
Especially the keyboard lines in the verses of Du bist die Nacht (“You are the night”) lead to some nostalgic feelings. Not has energetic and rocking as some songs at the beginning of Maniac, but very catching.
8. Clock Tower
The eighth song feels darker again. However, the key element are the very present synth sounds, which mainly define the sound of Clock Tower. Reaching the limit of the sound works out fine here. However, I have to say that the song does not catch me as much as other ones on the album.
9. Alone in the Dark
This song has been recorded together with Lana Giese, who is the singer of the band Kochkraft durch KMA. Even though the song felt to be pushing too much to me at the beginning – the chorus latest changed my mind. The duet style of Alone in the Dark turns it into a special and catching listen.
10. Tie Fighter (feat. Maffai)
The tenth song features another collaboration. Maffai are a post-punk band from Würzburg and Nuremberg in Germany. The collaboration with Lana Giese feels more special, but there is no doubt that Tie Fighter has a unique sound. And it is fun to listen.
When Marathonmann concentrate on the vocals of their singer, the result is an absolutely intense listen. Haze is the perfect example. It is not much more than a three minute show case of Leitner’s voice, supported by some synth sounds, in a ballad atmosphere. Cool listen
After this quiet and rather intense moment, Marathonmann are rocking Almanach. A very straight and good song, even though it does not any special moments to the album.
13. The Void
We are on the final straight of the album already. However, the Munich band gives us another really highlight of the album. I really enjoy the rock-and-synth balance of The Void. The song feels so modern, but also so 1980’s. With 3:53 minutes, the song is the longest on the album, by the way.
14. Out Run
Out Run is another power song. Just as we shall keep Marathonmann in mind. They are not finishing Maniac with a bang, though – rather a solid farewell.
Marathonmann – Maniac – Spotify
Here is Maniac on Spotify:
Marathonmann – Maniac – My View
Maniac is straight, honest and a clear praising of the 1980’s. Even though some songs don’t feel to add that much to the album, it is the leverage of songs which makes it special to me. You simply enjoy listening to these 42 minutes. And just when you feel for some variety, the Bavarians give it to you. Very entertaining listen.
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