Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

August 2, 2012

Manic Eden ~ Manic Eden (aka debut)

(No official website.)
Style: blues, blues-rock
Label: Victor
Year: 1994
Home: n/a (disbanded)

Members: Adrian Vandenberg ~ guitar/keyboards
Rudy Sarzo ~ bass
Tommy Aldridge ~ drums
Ron Young ~ vocals

Additional: CeCe White, Sara Taylor ~ b. vocals
Chris Trujillo ~ percussion

If I said I had a one-off band to share featuring the guitarist, bassist & drummer of Whitesnake, or all but Steve Vai & David Coverdale from Slip Of The Tongue, & originally featured House of Lords singer James Christian before bringing in bluesy hard rocker Little Caesar singer Ron Young, whose resumes also include Quiet Riot & Ozzy ... well, your ears are probably going to perk up. They should, but like me you might be a bit surprised by the outcome. Its easy to forget that beyond the girls dancing on cars, Coverdale's British swagger & highly commercialized rock, Whitesnake started as & has always been essentially a blues band coming off the Deep Purple family tree. The recent blockbuster albums have reminded the public of that, but growing up in the 80's & 90's it was easy to forget. Watchy girls roll over cars didn't seem very bluesy. Manic Eden, on their one release, have created something that really isn't a rock album ... much to my surprise. It's a complete blistering blues album without the slow ballads. Yet, its the blues of Hendrix & its the blues that spawned rock'n'roll. The album weaves through Hendrix style playing right down to the vibrato (for example, "Can You Feel It", "Do Angels Die") & weaves particularly strongly through the singing, arrangements & feeling of Stevie Ray Vaughn (for example "Gimme A Shot", "Pushing Me", "Crossing The Line"), almost to haunting degrees. It's a shocking yet exciting release for the blues minded. Sadly, it failed commercially & the boys went off to other projects. I can hear no reason why it should have failed, expect for the fact that listeners were probably expecting hard rock not hit the nail on the head smokin' blues. In 1994 Eric Clapton was steering a blues revival & the blues scene, of which I was a big family, was quite popular even given the grunge national scene, so that's no excuse for failure. But, the blues purists probably decried the lack of show for show-off, though certainly both Hendrix & SRV had their moments of pure show. So, while it's a great album it had no audience. Too blues for the rockers & too rock for the blues guys. It's now become a bit of a lost treasure that is worth hunting up.

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