Monday, May 30, 2016


LABEL: Rod Hot Records
REVIEW BY: Alan Holloway

Well this one came out of left field, featuring three members of seminal pub rock band Eddie & The Hot Rods, forever remembered for their hit single ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’. The whole thing came about when the band’s original members reformed for the 40th anniversary, and current bassist Dipster Dean, along with guitarist Chris Taylor and drummer Simon Bowley, formed Headline maniac to be the support band, using songs he had written that weren’t quite right for the Hot Rods. Thankfully, they realized they were on to a good thing and decided to make the band an ongoing side project.

From the outset, Headline Maniac make it quite clear that this going to be an album best described as ‘simple and melodic’. Very much the classic power trio, it’s an effective mesh of guitar, bass and drums that is raw yet exceptionally tuneful, more Therapy than Rush but to be honest that was what I was expecting. Although the tracks are raw and powerful, there’s always a strong melody and a chorus the sing along to, often comparable to the likes of Green Day and accurately described by Vive Le Rock as a ‘tuneful racket’. It’s undeniably an album that owes a lot to melodic punk rock, but there’s also hints of Thin Lizzy and The Who in the strong basslines and melody. Dipster Dean does a fine job on vocals, which suit the musical style down to the ground, and the production allows the three members to shine.

With most songs providing a short burst of well structured upbeat melodic fun, it’s nigh on impossible to dislike Headline Maniac. They’re not reinventing the wheel or providing soaring AOR masterpieces, but as far as no frills unpretentious Brit rock goes they can hold their heads up against anyone you care to mention.

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