Listening back on previous albums by The Manic Shine, it would appear that the band has no interest in being easy to categorize. The past has shown hints of hard rock, progressive rock, and a few other surprises. According to their Facebook page, they credit “literally everything audible” as an influence, and while I’ve known a lot of people to say that, I think I finally found a group of people I truly believe. The nine songs on their latest album Trial & Triumph provide enough proof of this.
Trial & Triumph‘s opening track Ball & Chain comes off as a pop hard rock number, thanks mostly to its hooks and sing-able chorus. It has some sleaze to it and some heavy moments, but its ability to stick in your head shows The Manic Shine have more than just the basics to offer. They show signs of high energy on the tracks Brakes and Orbits. Haze (Singing My Name) relies heavily on its guitar playing to get you moving.
The Manic Shine start to show off some uncommon song writing starting with Trial & Triumph‘s fourth track Blind Love, which has pop hooks, similar to that of shown on the album’s opening track, but with some other influences that include, from what I can hear, 80s pop rock to modern pop music mixed in with its in your face sound. I Don’t Wanna Hear It has a funk to it unlike anything listeners may have expected and while Reset experiments with some cool sounds that make its main guitar riff and all around sound seem fresh.
Trial & Triumph still has room for more straight ahead rock tracks that, while they don’t show anything super unique in regards to how The Manic Shine wrote them, they still follow the trend of not really sounding like anything else on the album. Hold On (Together We’ll Keep Dreaming) for one has an alternative, dare I say grungy sound that just sounds so good. Closing track Binary‘s opening guitar riff is where some real strong guitar playing is shown off before unleashing into a song that goes from tamed verses to blasting choruses.
There is something new to discover with every listen given to Trial & Triumph. Every time I put it on I notice something else special about it. It has its ups and downs, for instance, just about every song has some sort of a hook, typically something in the realm of the vocals, giving listeners the ability to sing along. The downs aren’t anything significant. The only thing I can really say of that is how Haze (Singing My Name) is really only special because of its energy level while its vocal performance, from a melody standpoint, is insignificant. The Manic Shine show that they are becoming veterans in the field of recording music and continue to grow a fan base. Trial & Triumph will help grow that fan base.
“Blind Love” – I pick this because it’s the most unique song on the album, simple as that. It shows everything about the band, how hard rocking they can be, how experimental they can get and how different they want to be known as, all in one track.
8 (Out of 10)
|1||Ball & Chain||3:56|
|3||Haze (Singing My Name)||4:15|
|6||Hold On (Together We’ll Keep Dreaming)||3:51|
|7||I Don’t Wanna Hear It||4:36|