Album review: THE MANIC SHINE – Trial And Triumph

THE MANIC SHINE - Trial & Triumph

Pledge Music [Release date 11.15]

The Manic Shine are one of those bands that – after several years – have finally hit proverbial  paydirt with their latest Pledge-funded album.  We came across them via the radio station with much airplay for their 2013/4 sophomore release ‘Let Go Or Be Dragged’.  This was promising – do check out Pete Feenstra’s erudite review – but ‘Trial And Triumph’ is the real deal and the finished article.

Interestingly, with that second album, for some bizarre reason we’d classified the band as “prog rock”.  No more.  Echoing such anthemic alt-rock bands as Alter Bridge and Stone Temple Pilots the band have crafted eight glorious, cohesive, tunes that – if matched live – will make them into one of the UK’s more formidable new bands on the block.

There’s so much to like about this band.  For me, there’s a certain attitude and unswerving momentum to all these pieces.  The songwriting has got class (and maturity) stamped all over it – all rousing choruses and truly great riffage.

Vocalist Ozzie also stamps his mark whilst there is enough musical prowess – and production touches – to fully engage the listener; a distinct feeling too that beyond the confines of the four to five minute ear candy are a bunch of talented musicians (James Hutchison, bass,  Tamir Karp, drums and Orren Karp, guitars) who – given their head of stream – will be able to stretch things out rather nicely.  You get a measure of  this on the breakdown section of ‘Reset’ and ‘Orbit’.

Highlights? Everything!  But pay particular attention to ‘I Don’t Wanna Hear It’ a relentless groove-driven de-light, or the early singles ‘Blind Love’ and ‘Haze (Singing My Name)’ .  But on a track like third single ‘Hold On (Together We’ll Keep Dreaming) the band show they can match the very best that – traditionally in this genre – the USA has to offer.

If you’re asking; yes, the previous album is well worth seeking out and still relevant, not least as a portent of greater things to come.  We’re in September and shortly will be discussing albums of the year.   ‘Trial And Triumph’ is a sure fire contender.  Absolutely essential.  *****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Album review (Let Go Or Be Dragged, 2013)


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.

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