Hitting the Manic Circuit
Some music soothes you. Some seduces you. And some swaggers up to you and hits you over the head with a box of skateboard parts. An upstart new band called Manic Circuit slams its way into your skull with songs of raw power combined with progressive structure.
“Why don’t you do music reviews anymore?”
I get asked that a lot. Not as much as when I first quit, but a lot.
It wasn’t that I was the greatest writer. But since I was better than the typical cretins who called themselves journalists, it just looked that way.
It wasn’t that most of my reviews were positive. But since I verbally ridiculed the bad recordings sent to me while publishing columns about the good ones, it appeared that I was an easy-going critic. (Note: most musicians are not familiar with my smartass put-downs of marketing dunderheads in my “Communication Nation” column on AdvertisingIndustryNewswire.com.)
But every now and then something comes along that catches my ear and makes me want to write a review. It might be the turbo-rock of Powder. It might be the classical genius of Arvo Part. Or it might be the avant-garde eccentric artistry of a punk/progressive outfit called Manic Circuit.
They are part-way through recording their first album, which according to their MySpace page will be entitled “The Fashionable Tactics of a Superiorly Keen Paul Kim.” (Damn, I was going to use that for my next album title.)
Here are my reactions to their four current sonic conflagrations:
Ahh, such nice, soft, gently echoing guitar. Oops, there’s a hint of some psychotic drumming. Okay, now we’re back with soothing keyboards. So pretty. . . Then the off-kilter harmony vocals kick in and we’re suddenly in a whole other world of modern age freak-out rock. There is NO WAY this is ever going to be played on smarmy, working class, middle-of-the-road programming like American Idol. And that’s a good thing.
Monstrous. An assault on your sense and sensibility. Must be like injecting adrenaline. If you fondly remember those attack-your-brain guitar-driven super jams on the early Funkadelic albums, you will love this.
Chris Rain Song
There are phrases that capture the attitude of the guys in Manic Circuit. Phrases like “anything goes!” Or “energy is infectious!” And “runaway jet engines can be fun!” Think PiL meets Captain Beefheart. (Too esoteric for ya? Hey, I can’t help it if you lack any appreciation of music history.)
Satellite Shock Therapy
Well, see my reaction to “Chris Rain Song,” above. And now I’m addicted to the pulse-pounding bass, frenetic-fun drums, twisted vocals, and mile-a-minute guitars of Manic Circuit. Oh, another thing about those guitar and bass lines: their highly amp’d string work deftly bridges the gap between ’60s psychedelia and today’s Red Bull-fueled nightclub experience.
Warning: don’t send me music for review unless you think it will make me mention artists you’ll also have to look up on AllMusic.com.
[tags]G-Man, Scott G, Music Critics Must Die, music rants, Manic Circuit[/tags]