Review Summary: At first glance, Manic Moonlight doesn't seem like anything King's X would put out in a million years. Listen closer, though, and you'll find that this really is King's X doing what they do best.
With the release of 2000's Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous, a lot of King's X fans were wondering that the band would do next, given the bizarre nature of Bulbous. With 2001's Manic Moonlight, the band takes an even stranger turn off the side of the road, using drum loops, techno beats and techniques never before seen on a King's X album.
The album starts out with Believe, a funky groove song that has the band stressing the listener to just believe in themselves, they're alright. However, by the time Manic Moonlight, the title track and 2nd song on the album rolls around, no one really knows what the band is trying to say. The lyrics in Manic seem to suggest someone trying to profess their feelings for another person. Then track 3 hits, Yeah, with a chorus that just repeats 'Yeah!' Was the band just messing around and liked the music so much they didn't care what the vocals were" Either way, they're still great songs, music wise. The drum loops and beats don't stop with track 4, entitled False Alarm. However, what does change is a radical swing in song meaning. False Alarm deals with someone telling dUg Pinnick (bassist/vocalist) that they loved them, then a year later saying they don't care anymore, hence a 'False Alarm'.
Static, the 5th song, takes an extremely ominous turn from the previous songs' not necessarily jubilant but not depressing nature. The song features a repeated drum loop, not long after, the bass sounds like it opens the doorway to the song and starts rumbling and grumbling so deep your speakers will hate you for playing it. The lyrics repeat in an eerie tone: "I don't wanna do this anymore, I really wanna do it...". This goes on for over 2 minutes, until Ty Tabor's crushing guitar tone rolls through and adds yet another heavy element to the song. Shortly after, the vocal loops begin, the eerie sound effects remain prominent, and the music fades out to just a lonely guitar sustain, then cuts off abruptly. Truly the highlight of the album.
But enough with the individual song reviews. What this album does so well is manage to be so musically captivating, the relatively silly lyrics in some places come as an after thought. By far the biggest departure from a normal King's X album ever made, the band doesn't lose it's musical prowess with Manic Moonlight. However, if you're a newcomer to the band, you may want to check out the classics, such as Gretchen Goes to Nebraska and Dogman before venturing into the 2000's with Manic Moonlight and it's predecessor, Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous.