Maserati - Rehumanizer

by Rob Taylor Rating:6 Release Date:2015-10-30

One of the promotional grabs for Maserati’s Rehumanizer says that the track ‘Rehumanizer II’ combines “expert musicianship with sounds and pieces straight out of a Flock of Seagulls record”. Having had the misfortune to endure weeks of ‘I Ran’ at number one on Countdown (see Top of the Pops for UK people) back in the 1980s, this was enough to send shivers up my spine. Add in the fact that Maserati also combine the classical rock indulgence of, say, Emerson Lake and Palmer with a crude representation of krautrock, and the band concept seems a little shaky.

What surprises then is that ‘End of Man’ achieves what the rest of Rehumanizer struggles to do, and this is to combine those influences using a degree of restraint and a sense of fun, thus producing a nifty groove, and a memorable hook. Taking some robotic vocal processing, lead guitar akin to The Edge’s style, and a 1980s electro-pop / new age feel, ‘End of Man’ is great invention.

The Flock of Seagulls reference on ‘Rehumanizer II’ might just as easily been a reference to Pink Floyd’s ‘Run Like Hell’, or Kim Wilde’s ‘Kids in America’, the staccato keyboard stabs invoking memories of the lyric..  ‘Looking out a dirty gray window..’  The track then takes on a rumbling Floydian journey through classic rock cliche. Calculated deference, but nonetheless entertaining.

Maserati, from Athens Georgia, have been around for years, and attract a good degree of loyalty amongst the alternate rock press fraternity. It's been commented that their brand of space rock has now reached an audience. While that might be true, the repetitive classic rock form on ‘No Cave’ for instance, reminds me too much of the excesses of early 1970s progressive rock. As I’ve said, when they pull back and edit, as on ‘End of Man’ they reveal their shtick.

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