Musical mashups and genre-defying acts have become quite a regularity in modern rock music, but some are more daring than others. Firmly planted on the more audacious side of things are Jack and the Dull Boy and their latest single “Maniac,” a revved-up cover version of the classic Michael Sembello pop hit that also acted as the theme song to the classic ’80s film Flashdance.
You don’t have to be a child of the ’80s to know this song; it has been on the radio so much, and been in so many shows and commercials that you can’t avoid having some familiarity with it. Combining the best of retro progressive metal and the films that were popular at this time, Jack and the Dull Boy have stayed true to the energy of the Sembello version while putting that familiar ’80s rock spin on it.
You’ll be able to find this firecracker on Jack and the Dull Boy’s debut full-length album Failure In Three Parts, set for release on November 19th. The Seattle duo took a bold approach to the recording of this album, writing songs that combine the best of hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive pop. A lot of bands are too reluctant to intersect pop and metal, but singer and guitarist Devon Summers and drummer Aaron Nicholes are not at all interested in playing it safe. The songs feature classic metal guitar riffs with clean vocals, and sing-along choruses, presenting themselves as an act whose only concern is ensuring a good time is had by all.
Commenting on the cover, Summers said,
“Jack and the Dull Boy say they obviously have a lot in common with ‘80s legend Michael Sembello in that they’re bearded, slightly stocky, and not particularly photogenic. What’s maybe not as obvious is that the original version of ‘Maniac’ is a heavy metal song dressed in ‘80s synth-pop clothing. Chord progressions, key signature (Eb minor), guitar solo in the bridge, all these ingredients beg the question, ‘Are you sure Steve Harris didn’t write this?’ Jack and the Dull Boy seems to have had some fun connecting the dots between the genres.”
Summers and Nicholes first met about 17 years ago when they began playing together in punk-metal band Scorpiknox. When that band fell apart, the two remained good friends, but musically they diverged in different directions, with Nicholes joining the band Legion Within. They recently decided to start rehearsing together, with no goal in mind except having an excuse to drink. From these rehearsals, Jack and the Dull Boy was born and the two set their sights on bucking the trends of genre conformity and livening things up.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
10/02 – The Kraken, Seattle, WA
10/15 – Blind Pig, Tacoma, WA
Failure In Three Parts Track Listing:
1. Video Drugs
2. Ghost In The Machine
3. Who Goes There
4. High School Musical
5. Move That Mountain
7. Failure In Three Parts
8. Final Mission