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10,000 Maniacs are back! New disc released on June 17th! This is their official website.

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10,000 MANIACS/LOVE AMONG THE RUINS (Geffen GEFD-25009) Yes it's finally here. 10,000 Maniacs' return to the disc racks. For the unaware, no Natalie hasn't rejoined the band. The remaining members are now joined by original 10KM (as their web page refers to them) member John Lombardo, on guitar, and his partner from the "John & Mary" days, Mary Ramsey, on vocals and viola. If you happened to have seen 10KM live on their "Hope Chest" tour in 1990, you probably saw "John & Mary", who opened some of those shows. The two "John & Mary" CDs are now out of print, but some copies are still available through the band's webpage. (see my "Cool Music Links" section) While Mary's voice is in the same range as Natalie's, it does have its own distinctive qualities as well. She also brings the viola to the band's sound, which fits so well you'll wonder how you didn't miss it before. The addition of the second guitarist also helps to expand the band's sound slightly. Make no mistake about it, 10KM always had their own sound and that sound is still very much intact here. Some critics will claim that the band is trying to sound the same as before. Why shouldn't they? Only one member has left, the remaining four are still here. I saw the current lineup on their "Unscathed" tour a couple years ago and was very impressed. It's taken awhile for this disc to see the light of day but it's great to finally have it. This set has 12 songs, 11 originals and a cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This", which is also the first single. The originals are all credited to 10KM, as a whole, with 3 having been co-written with Jules Shear. For fans it's a great return to style by a truly original band. For the uninitiated, just sit back and enjoy the 10KM experience. The only complaint that this fan can come up with is that Robert Buck's frantic guitar solos are still hidden in the mix. They always were subdued in 10KM's recorded works, and still are. In a live setting he seems to break out more often. I'd like that sound to get into the studio with them. This one's highly recommended and will fill the void that's existed for awhile now. Welcome back 10KM! I'll be seeing you soon.