Maniacal Plan – Casualty of Sound

maniacalplan_casuality.jpgRun of the mill. More of the same. Another of the lot. I could go on.
Maniacal Plan’s Casualty of Sound is far short of dynamic and much closer to prosaic. In the vein of Saliva, Hinder and the like–but not as vocally powerful–the album is a more or less humdrum collection of ready-made hard rock radio cuts.

Instrumentally, the boys drop the guitars a full step for a deeper sound but don’t achieve the dark, brooding tones for which they yearn. Dan O’Berry’s vocals don’t do a hell of a lot to save the drudgery of the sound, and a more capable lyricist would go a long way in adding a much needed dynamic.

The album’s opening track “Anathema” is complete with the prerequisite guitar picking and brooding lyrics, and then right into the up tempo chorus. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. “Numb” follows this line as well, but, a little falsetto by O’Berry near the intro provides a welcome bit of depth. Taking this tack throughout would do the boys a world of good. Unfortunately, the high pitch high point is short lived, as the song devolves into lesser Staind territory.

“Noxious” has a quicker and more playful feel to it, another short lived triumph for the band that really should have thought a little outside the driving, repetitive riff that just won’t stop.

It’s not that the music is completely without merit. The production, while formulaic, is tight and rarely misses. I just wish the album spoke more in a sense of urgency. It lies, complacently, in a space with all the other pseudo-rock drivel: on the American airwaves.

By Jeff O’Neill

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