How many people do you know that absolutely love Quicksand (personally, there is not a person that I know who is into music that does not love this band), or, better yet how many people do you know that point to Quicksand as a band or group to be revered, emulated, worshipped, et al (again, there are a multitude of people out there that I know who wishes they were in this band)?
Without getting too deeply into the history of the band, Quicksand was a breath of fresh air in the early 1990’s New York Hardcore scene, impacting the music in a way that music journalists may have invented the term “Post Hardcore” to describe the band’s sound and motif; by 1995 Quicksand had released an EP as well as their first album (Slip) and toured all over the place in a whirlwind five year journey that culminated in the release of their second album, and Manic Compression saw the group reaching new heights of popularity and mainstream approval despite what many deem a record fraught with issues.
Manic Compression holds quite a few other songs that are essential to the Quicksand canon like “Thorn In My Side” (with its awesome bass line and hyper tempo) and the slower tempo and cool dynamic shifts of “Simpleton” that builds to an excellent crescendo and “Brown Gargantuan” (and its fusing of the hard Quicksand sound with some impressive melodies) and the jam-like closer “It Would Be Cooler If You Did”, but the album’s other songs have some excellent parts as well like the breakdown chorus of “Blister” that just hits so hard or the wicked guitar trills and harsh rhythm in the verses of “Supergenius”.
Even with some of the members’ issues with Manic Compression (some of their dissatisfactions have been documented in more detail elsewhere), the album still is an excellent entry in the Quicksand oeuvre dropping some of the best songs that this four piece ever created in their relatively short tenure of their initial existence (a short reunion and aborted third album from 1998 not withstanding), but where this album fails also is evidence of its strengths that in spite of some of the sound issues on the album, the songs rise above the din leaving an awesome batch of tracks for us their listeners; and while this may not be their best album, I still wish I could write and record an album as good as Manic Compression.
8.0 / 10
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SRC Vinyl will be reissuing Quicksand's second album Manic Compression on February 26 in 4 colors and double gatefold. The album was first released in 1995 on Island Records.
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