You could make a lot of different arguments about why “Maneater,” released in 1982, pretty much instantly became the biggest hit of Daryl Hall and John Oates’ collaborative career. There’s that opening bass beat, of course, drilling its way into your head even before the moody keys can kick in. There’s the abrupt, sensuous nature of the song’s (vaguely misogynist) lyrics, belted by Hall like a man haunted. And, of course, there’s Charles DeChant’s saxophone, sexy and sly, holding the whole track together.
We can now—and we’re indebted to Oates for bringing this to our attention—add “It’s not being played by a saxophone-playing sasquatch while trying to replicate some kind of half-assed EDM beat” to the reasons “Maneater” works so well. And if you don’t believe us, well, you can go ahead and watch the below video from Monstercat Instinct, in which Oates and “Saxsquatch” play a song that—to paraphrase Douglas Adams—sounds almost, but not quite, entirely unlike “Maneater.”
For all we know, Saxsquatch may be a truly excellent saxophonist, for a sasquatch. But when compared to DeChant, we have to asset that he’s just not yeti ready for the limelight. Meanwhile, Oates serves up a stirring reminder of why he’s best known as the guitarist for Hall And Oates, and not, say, the singer. The end result is, at best, inoffensive—and only then, when you’re not constantly being reminded that you could be listening to “Maneater” instead.
But even beyond the song, we find our minds reeling with questions. “Why?” comes first, of course, bitter and unanswered. But then, a deeper bout of self/sasquatch examination sets in: “Why did this duo feel the need to promote the video with a Forbes interview, one that contains the immortal line ‘You know an interview is special when Saxsquatch has both Oates and I cracking up’?” “Is the implication that Saxsquatch is, himself, a maneater, and will messily devour Oates once the recording is complete?” “Why the fuck are there little cartoon Daft Punk robots dancing in the video?” These are the questions that keep us up at nights, draining us, rendering us weak.
And that’s how Saxsquatch gets ya.