The Manic Shine

Let Go Or Be Dragged

Written by: BW on 19/01/2014 17:36:45

I first heard "Let Go or Be Dragged" when The Manic Shine came up north of the border to do a few gigs to promote the album. To me, the best compliment you can give to any album, whether it be priceless in sentimental genius or the non-money option, is that a good six months or even more after the initial release of it you can still chuck it into whatever player you may have and the audio cleansing that engulfs you is still as potent as the very first time. This is one such album and it is mainly because it has that fresh feel to it. There is a slight mix of many different bands, from Incubus to Rage Against The Machine, but it doesn’t stop Ozzie, Tamir, James and Orren from adding their own distinguished sound to an already impressive recipe.

The first album the band released, "Blindsider", was a hint at what would be coming, but "Let Go Or Be Dragged" seems to be “THAT” album. It’s the kind of disc that bands throw in the faces of the listening world to say “We have arrived, now sit up and f****ng listen to us!!” Here are the reasons why you should be doing this, in no particular order: The main standout feature with The Manic Shine is that their use of electrics and pedals in amongst the more traditional guitar, drum, bass and vocal is strong enough to make its presence known, but not so overpowering that it takes away from the tight vibe the songs give to you.

A great example of this is “Weightless” in that you don’t really hear any technical jiggery-pokery in your face, as the intro is mainly guitar shreds and primal drum beats, but as soon as things kick off in this really fast paced track you can hear those little additions that mainly go to add more flavour to the licks already present. It is most definitely the fastest track on the album, which leads me to the next reason.

The mixture of different tempos and styles contained are pretty impressive. You can head from the toe tapping and headbanging in "Weightless" to the passion swelling anthem that is "Libra". This would have to be named as the ballad of the piece, but it has the baiting and attraction of a fishing line to an unsuspecting prey allowing the hook about two thirds of the way in to take no prisoners, not to mention it has a corking end chord, one that most bands would be proud to end a song with.

The one other major thing that makes The Manic Shine’s latest album worth major interest is that there is just so much variety in all of the songs. Each one sounds different to the other in a way you would never really expect to hear in a normal album. Most people look to their artists to stay pretty close to their subject matter, much like a novelist in a series of Pulitzer winners, but there is never a dull moment with this album. "Fiendish Means" is such a catchy song, but it starts slowly and doesn’t prepare you for the direction it will eventually go, but that is exactly what makes this a disc that NEEDS to be listened to.

There are so many bands out there that rest on what they can do and think that producing the same sound is going to get them where they need to be. Thankfully there are bands like The Manic Shine, who try to push the boundaries of what we listen to and give a glance into just what is achievable if you add a spark to something. All we need to do, as a listening public, is stand back to a safe distance and take it all in once it explodes in your audio receptors.

"Let Go or Be Dragged" is an album that demands a listen and is very unashamed at what it does. It has every right to be like that, as each track has an identity all of its own, an emotion ready to caress your brain. It is of the rock and metal genre, but adding the extras that they do to it just pushes it out of the comfort zone to show us what can be done if we look outside of the fence that the music industry has penned us into. I really urge people to take a chance with this album. I did and I’ve never looked back. Even listening to it now still makes me smile and if it wasn’t so damned late in the evening [at the time of writing], I’d probably be tapping my foot and performing the occasional banging of the head.

Highly recommended album…… No question.

Download: Use Your Horizon, Libra, Weightless, Tin Crown Kings
For The Fans Of: Incubus, Rage Against The Machine, Dreamtheater

Release Date 27.01.2014 (original release 01.04.2013)
The Animal Farm

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