Trial and Triumph – The Manic Shine (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

11707575_10152959990359290_8393345165796491056_nThere are a handful of bands at the moment that are injecting new life into the tried, tested and frankly long due for an overhaul rock and roll format. Whilst the rock fraternity seems to either be fixated on tributes to its own formative years and uttering sentiments such as “bands don’t rock like that any more” or current big live fixtures which require the exchange of a two bedroom, home counties, semi-detached for a ticket, a small but potent movement has formed largely unseen with its ranks. Bands such as The Manic Shine, Echo Boom Generation and Suzerain are wilfully storming barricades and heading off into a glorious new sunrise for the genre with only the slightest of reinventions.

On this, their third album, the band continue to trade in a rich, dense sound and although they embrace all that the modern age has to offer in terms of technology, studio production and equipment, at the end of the day they stay true to the spirit of rock and roll. It’s a sound built on big riffs, accessible, soaring, melody driven songs, deep-rooted grooves and thunderous backbeats. In short it’s a big show just waiting for its turn to be unleashed on the big stage.

But big songs are not just about making a noise, anyone can do that, the selling point here is the layering of the instrumentation, for even when they are put together with byzantine complexity, there seems to be room for everything to have it’s own moment in the spotlight. Nobody seems to step on anybody else’s toes; dynamics rise and fall, built from subtle break downs, soaring vocals or euphoric guitar lines, past-referencing bass interludes or mood shifting drum patterns. A glorious celebration of what modern rock music can be. The less is more years are behind us, if done correctly, and this is, more is more is definitely the way forward.

They are a band who have worked out that the wheel doesn’t need re-inventing, it just needs a clean up, re-treading and some fancy rims then taken out for a spin to leave some indelible and unsightly marks all over the road, possibly invoking an angry letter to the local newspaper. Hang on, it is going to be one hell of a ride.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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