Fly High by Maniac (Single Review)



Artist: Maniac

Genre: Alternative rock

Length: 4 mins 31 secs

Release date: 8th November, 2018


Melomaniac. Sounds quite dandy, doesn't it? And a melomaniac is a person (or a dog) inordinately affected by musical tones in certain ranges of sound or in another way - a passionate enthusiast for music (dogs are not included here, since I've never seen one who is a music enthusiast). This word is fit, and almost advisable to be a band name; but no one has ever adopted this idea until 2013 i.e. with the inception of the all-female Manipuri rock band, Maniac. It feels fresh to witness a band solely comprised of female musicians on a male-dominated stage by displaying power, glam and adept musicianship.


They have been hitting their prime time and they remain as one of the most active rock bands around, despite the fact that they have not released an album or an EP yet. They have performed in popular live shows like Ballot Jam, Encore 2.0, Peace Blast etc. in the previous years, but 2018 is not a productive year for them, as far as the band activity list is concerned.


They broke their unconfirmed hiatus by releasing a single called Fly High out of the blue, adding to their modest list of the previous two songs already on SoundCloud. The other two songs are Kanagi Maralno and Rock N' Roll. This newest release marks a blatant departure from their earlier hard rock "Joan Jett-like" sound.


Fly High is a piano-driven alternative rock song which features overdrive guitar riffs and a backing cello sound. The song structure is the standard "verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge" style adopted in most pop music. The song also features a prominent piano intro, a guitar solo, and a fade-away coda (or outro). The lyrics of Fly High deal with the pain of loss, loneliness and unfulfilled love.


The lead vocals deliver the lyrics fairly well along with the accompaniment of the lamenting backing vocals. The song lyrics and its delivery in combination, is a definite mixture of the vapours of lost love and pain touched over with a pinch of optimism.

The chord progression of the chorus flaunts a sudden turn in a minor chord, which adds to the dark-sounding tune. The overall sound is similar to a typical gothic rock ballad in which the female protagonist sings of lost love and dark times. A guitar solo comes right after the bridge section, which is the best part of the song.


After the release of this single, one is likely to question Maniac's future releases and their originality. Yes, all their songs are individually good alright, but let's talk about their true sound; their Maniac-ness. The truth is, they are still a changing band, sonically. Maybe, "evolving" will be the perfect word.


But in this process of "evolution", they should try to resolve the identity crisis, otherwise Maniac will not be recognizable when played on the radio. They should carry on their new alternative sound forward or revive their old hard rock attribute instead, because as far as I know, Maniac is not an experimental rock band.


Avid listeners of the band might be disappointed on the fact that they are offered only a handful of songs (but let's not forget their extravagant live performances). In fact, the widely known are only the aforementioned three. So, despite having their own individual pursuits in life, the band should try to focus more on original music-making, for their speed of music production is quite slow.


Releasing only 3 singles in 5 years of existence is like releasing a song once for every 1 year and 6 months. Clearly, this does not match their true potential or suit their powerful live performances. Let us hope that they have things cooking up, with much more surprises to offer and build up a much formidable reputation to fly high.


Personnel:

Nancy - vocal, bass guitar

Sunanda - backing vocal

Anjali - lead guitar, backing vocal

Sapna - rhythm guitar

Goldie - drums

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