Live Review from Underground Heavy #1:
So it’s looking like the average players for a metalcore bands is 5, as confirmed by the 5 men of Maniac who are next to continue XmasMetalFest09. The start of their set had caught everybody by surprise. They kick off with an electronic song being blasted through the house sound system. For a moment, we could very well be at a hidden rave party! Just when you’re about to run to the closest 7-11 to get your value pack of glow sticks however, the distorted axes and beatings of the double kick riot through and we’re back to moshing and slam dancing. Well not me of course, I’m naturally at the back of the room tucking into Chris B’s Cajun French Fries. Which are amazing by the way. I’m constantly in fact waiting for Chris to go on another Cosmopolitan run so that I may jam a fistful down me. But no one wants to hear me go on about my barbaric feeding rituals. Speaking of barbaric however, Maniac are the first band of the evening to get the famous ‘wall of death’ going. If you are unfamiliar with such a feat, I highly recommend that you youtube it immediately. Not much to say about the music though. It is of course played very well, and you can tell the band have done a lot of work to get it tight, but it’s pretty much everything you expect. No real surprises. Maniac perform a good show, and I’ve realised that if you are to play real heavy music, you need to sell it, and each band tonight has done just that.
Tim – Hong Kong Independent Music Blog
Live Review from Underground 39:
Whatever you think of the music, you can’t accuse Maniac, the final band, of being pedestrian rock. I was worried at first, when during the soundcheck the guitarist showed off his knowledge of blues and jazz riffs, while a Yorkshire voice to the right of me ventured that in his opinion, Rancid were “just sublime”. A surreal moment. However, soundcheck over and the guitar went back to the standard deathtrashcore metal chugga-chugga-chugga-wheeeeeeeep! Game on.
I have to say the songs kinda merged together for me. Maybe this was because they were all shouted in an indeterminate language, or maybe the beer was starting to take hold. Anyway the main thing that struck me was their energy and passion, which was especially noticable after the previous band. The audience was appreciative as well, and there was a mini-mosh in progress before too long.
Musically they were hard to pinpoint. The main theme was a death metal thrash, with its attendant sudden chord changes and non-standard time signatures. However at points they wavered off into Thin Lizzy territory, and one of the songs was a cover of Radiohead’s Creep, which was bound to please me. In the end, this kind of music is more about the emotion than the lyrics, and they definitely pulled that off well.
All in all a very interesting Underground, and one that spanned the full range of musical expression. There was probably something for everyone there, and it reminded me why I come back time after time.