As time marches on, it’s so fascinating to notice which vintage words get assigned to which decades. For ’90s-early ’00s it’s “throwback. For ’60s-’70s it’s usually “retro”. But outside of “old school” one of our favorite labels is that most often tacked on to the 1980s, and that’s “flashback”. Which, especially for those awesomely-overproduced recordings of pop and rock, really does a great job of representing that in-your-face, cinematic, “you just had to be there” energy.
Which brings us to Midnight Maniac. Made up of multi-instrumentalist-songwriters Jake Curtis Allard and Marshall Benson, this Austin duo has already dived headfirst into electronic-pop-laden hard rock. And sure, while they’ve certainly got the hair to match, the music alone sounds fresh out of an end-of-Cold War time capsule. And Midnight Maniac has big plans for 2024, so ahead of a full album and a nationwide tour, these two teamed up with Aerosmith/AC/DC collaborator Chris Athens to master their sweat-drenched debut single.
Like a piece of sonic sleep paralysis, that’s just as impactful as it is brief, “I Heard It In A Nightmare” glistens from its first group vocals all the way through its final ass-kicking guitar chord. Whether you’re headbanging through your commute, or breaking out the brush microphone and air guitar at home, this debut single is a dark-yet-sparkling dream come true for processed hard rock hounds.
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