California's Manic may have experienced their share of heartbreak in the industry throughout their members past incarnations, but the adversity only seems to have made them stronger. Or at least that's what this debut effort would suggest as the listener is taken on a melancholic voyage into a world of post rock that has enough sense of gravity to not get lost in space; nor adapt itself to any commercial formatting.
Instead a solemnly emotional performance is delivered with an underlying sensibility that belies the groups obvious thrusts at arty territory. In truth they never fully commit themselves to a full-fledged freakout and the tracks retain a steady, if not sometimes meandering, momentum in turn. Somewhere along the lines of older Radiohead with perhaps a healthy diet of say Failure-esque styled riffing, the music is generally quite wispy and upbeat. But that's not to say they also don't attack a song with fervor and determination either as their more acute moments do ignite a few of the songs included.
Altogether though, the bulk of the material on hand is instead drenched with jangling instrumentation and droning chords and notes. While this does make for a fairly delicate experience, the band tend to counterbalance it with an inspired rhythm section in the vein of At-The Drive-In. Such juxtapositions of dynamic melody and elastic energy do well to give their songs an engaging sound. Unfortunately, some of the ideas here are a bit too excessively drawn out, and the groups propensity for walls of instrumentation does get the better of them on more than one occasion. But for a first bow, this is quite an accomplished piece of work that doesn't just merely suggest, but instead screams that bigger and better things are on the way.
(3.5 / 5)