Manic, a new L.A. band, show us their colours early on their debut EP, Floorboards.
Manic, a new L.A. band, show us their colours early on their debut EP, Floorboards. In fact, the band is so confident in its crescendoing brand of radio rock that they repeat it five times on the five songs of the EP. Sparta drummer Tony Hajar guests with percussion for this album, and it has sufficient snap to suggest that harder-edged band's heaviness. But Manic isn't quite so tight. This wrought/strangled voice was popular when Staind and Linkin Park ruled the airwaves, but somehow it's been left behind. Manic figure, time for a revival, but at least they tweak the formula a little, fiddling with atmospheric effects from a variety of computed keyboards and so on. Trouble is, the formula doesn't allow for much variation. Just about every song builds from a soft, angsty verse to an explosion of distorted guitars and bass. The most fully realised version of the idea is "Leaving Araby", which strongly recalls Bends-era Radiohead, but still rocks out effectively enough.