This is a testament to Maneskin’s tenacity that their Eurovision victory in 2021 defines their history less and less. The band’s infamous victory in Rotterdam two years ago was somewhat overshadowed by a drug scandal (which the band’s lead singer Damiano David refutes), but now this episode seems firmly in the past. After their victory on the continent, they took steps to break America, established themselves as a living force and even supported The Rolling Stones. The magnificent OTT rock and roll circus, full of both fan adoration and negative reaction from skeptics, has been following Maneskin wherever they go ever since.
Their message is rude enough, as David exclaimed in his 2021 winner’s speech: “Rock and Roll never dies!” Alex Turner, eat your heart. However, they had conflicting views: the Italian band likes leather guys more than they pretend to be rebels for no reason, while their influence, in fact, comes down to every stadium-sized rock band over the past 40 years. Even the godfather of punk Iggy Pop saw something in them, joining the band for a version of “I Wanna Be Your Slave” in 2021. He later told NME that Måneskin is a “really strong band” and that their apparent willingness to win on any platform that comes their way — be it Eurovision or the Italian X Factor in 2017 — gives them a “really good advantage”. Several provocative live performances and performances also helped the band survive and eclipse their 15 minutes of fame.
“RUSH!,” the band’s third album, is a snapshot of how they conquered snobbery and became the ride that everyone from benefactors to more sinister figures has wanted to board over the past 18 months. No wonder it’s overcooked in places. In addition to super producer Max Martin (Taylor Swift, Katy Perry), a lot of producers come and go with a record of 17 tracks that lasts almost an hour. The three lead singles from the album — “MAMMAMIA”, “Supermodel” and “The Loneliest” — seem to be added at the end, rather than woven into the fabric of the record, after a series of songs in their native language. The latter includes “Mark Chapman,” a claustrophobic tale of an obsessive, ruthless force named after fame-hungry assassin John Lennon.
But little could spoil the spirit and audacity of the record. “Gossip”, co-created with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, fights back against the leeches and gossips in show business who, as they growl, make up the “American Dream”. In “Feel,” Moneskin jokes about “cocaine on the table,” which got them into trouble, and in “Kool Kids,” they indulge in “trendy” post-punk and bark with a parody British accent.” we’re not punk, we’re not pop, we’re just music fans!” through a minimalist groove. The glam rock top “Read Your Diary” is also hard to resist.
To overcome such a turbulent period and get here not just whole, but prosperous is an amazing achievement. A world tour will soon begin, including concerts in arenas all over Europe, where these songs will compete for a place next to the usual Måneskin cover versions – there is a good chance that some of them can win.
- Release date: January 20, 2023
- Record label: Columbia