Sounds like … wildly varied lo-fi rock that's reminiscent of Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, and occasionally Linkin Park, as well as mid-'90s Forefront bands like Audio Adrenaline, Bleach, and others.
At a glance … With an unusually varied sound and an unconventional approach to their faith-informed lyrics, Manic Drive largely succeeds at setting itself apart with Reset & Rewind.
If music critics were to compile a list of frustrations with projects they review, I'd guess sameness ("been there, heard that") would rank near the top nowadays. Though it's often said that there's nothing new under the sun, there's still a need for artists to offer something fresh or distinctive sounding rather than generic. True, being different for different's sake can also fall flat, but the unique and unexpected elements heard on Reset & Rewind are what make Manic Drive so interesting.
The opening track "NYC Gangsters" gives the initial impression that the album is going to resemble the high-octane rock of Panic! At the Disco. But that changes with the lush piano-driven strains of "Eleven Regrets," showcasing a more straightforward pop sensibility that engages in a different way, thanks to a great hook and the affecting vocals of Shawn Cavallo. Keeping the pace fast and furious is "Blue," featuring a cameo from Kevin Max, whose signature vibrato adds another layer of richness to a crowd-pleasing sing-along rocker.
Yet as exceptional as the first three tracks are, it's after that where Manic Drive becomes more, well, manic. Kicking off with a groovy guitar lick and some fantastic female backup vocals, "Dancefloor" is funky, fun and memorable, even if you're not sure what to make of it initially because it so takes you by surprise. ...1