The Manic Shine at Great Escape Brighton

London four-piece, The Manic Shine is a rock band unlike any other that we encountered at this year’s Great Escape Festival. We saw them play at the ridiculously tiny Fishbowl Brighton during The Animal Farm showcase. With a vast sound that ties together progressive alt / rock sensibility with noise synth (a sound which they have called “metamorphic rock”) their songs involve incredible solos, great tempo changes and a throbbing groove – to deliver a concentrated dose of intoxicating and addictive art rock .

DSC_0426Their first number ‘Tin Crown Kings’  was set against a freckled surface of sour faced beeps and percussive gloops, with acid guitars that started to fizz and splutter all around.

There were low and painful groans of bass guitar from Hutch Hutchison – and there were ruffles of powdery riffing from Ozzie and Orren  – working together on guitars. But it was the “Tin Crown Kings…” chorus  –  so gently vocalised  – against the plentiful bluster of drums from Tamir Karp – that really made this song stand out. Like many ‘Manic Shine’ numbers this was funky and groovy at times – but was also bitter,  sharp and heroic.

Then progressive-metal sounding ‘Leatherface’ had a whole jungle full of bustling percussion sounds,  with plenty of squelching guitars chatter boxing to each other. The elastic bass guitar frolicked freely on this number, as vocalist Ozzie Rodgers  annunciated the lyrics with rhythmic precision. Hefty yawning grimaces of guitar added bumptious dimensions to the line: “You can make believe if you want…”    And then the song broke down into a gentle meandering. It found a heart of pastoral and verdant luxury. This was an immensely satisfying creation. Lofty in ambition.

Use Your Horizon’ had a lot of powerful riffs.    You know,  the kind  that deliver the familiar low rumble that will send  a shiver down your spine and put a wide smile upon our gleaming gnashers. The rhythm was loose hipped and complex. And it felt closer to a boogie bounce than to metal. But the riff restored our faith. Yes, this was a true rock song. It had that colossal weighty feel to it. We could feel our hearts tingling and our sap rising.

DSC_0456Weightless’ started with a gentle tap of the skins, and the odd chortle of guitar. Then the whole thing became emblazoned in a searing light of powerful imagery. This was the song that most reminded us of Dream Theater.  It had the same bold ambition and that similar unrestrained technicality.

The voice (in this case anyway) reminded us of Serj Tankian. Theatrical, passionate, cynical …  and even histrionic .  The flumes of guitar that were foamed out by Orren Karp   – against those  blossoming vocals  – became the very core of this magnificent song.

This was a slick, adventurous and totally stoned performance. And we were very  glad that we saw these lads in the sticky and cramped atmosphere of the Fish Bowl.

Because, this time next year, they will be up on the main stage!  You had better grab them now, while you can…

– © Neil Mach May 2013 –


The Manic Shine UK Tour Dates

May 24     The Shed Leicester
May 25     4 Winds Festival Port Talbot
May 30     Hole In The Wall Colchester
Jun 01     Camden Rocks     London,
Jun 07     The Star w/ Sons Of Icarus Guildford
Jun 08     The Watershed     Milton Keynes
Jun 16     Hooteananny     Inverness
Jun 17     Cafe Drummond     Aberdeen
Jun 19     Bannermans     Edinburgh
Jun 20     Pivo Pivo     Glasgow
Jun 21     The Windy Ha     Saltcoats
Jun 22     The Eildon Centre Coldstream
Jul 27     Scruffy Murphys Birmingham
Aug 03     Vicfest 2013     Norwich,
Aug 25     Northwich Festival Cheshire
Aug 30     Worcester Music Festival Worcester
Oct 04     Central Bar     Gateshead
Oct 12     The Brunswick     Gloucester
Nov 02     The White Horse High Wycombe

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