Friday, November 18, 2011

Forgotten Gems: Mainiax - Boys Night Out

Sharps and Flats

If today's young bands think they have it bad just consider for one second what it must have been like in the days before the Internet made your music accessible to the whole world? While these days you have Myspace, Reverbnation and Facebook in the eighties you had to hope that word of mouth and good press would be enough to get record labels to notice you. With so many bands just unable to get anywhere with the majors and independent labels coming and going many heavy metal bands turned to the private press to reach audiences. These private press LPs now reside in thrift stores and small record stores mostly collecting dust. In the U.S. alone there were hundreds upon thousands of these heavy metal bands that made just enough noise to get noticed by a small handful of loyal fans before fading into history. Spartanburg, SC heavy metal band Mainiax was one such band that put it all on the line hoping that someone with taste would swoop them up and make them stars. Obviously it never happened as "Boys Night Out" is the sole release from this unknown band. While some may claim that Mainiax was a schizophrenic heavy metal band I prefer to think of them as a band that summed up 80's heavy metal in a nutshell. While opener "Life Of Crime" is eighties power metal the title track runs through Motley Crue sleaze while headed towards Judas Priest territory. Nothing shocking at all about any of that until "Night Of The Polizei" comes out of nowhere sounding like old Blue Oyster Cult! If that isn't enough you have the 9:35 epic number "The Witching Hour". With creepy organ work it brings to mind Deep Purple as much as it does Dio! Vocalist Don Garrison goes from sounding like Rob Halford to Eric Bloom between songs. Apparently he also handled the synthesizer work present throughout "Boys Night Out". Since the band was capable of writing 3 minute songs ("Love Machine") they could be lumped in with any number of 80's metal bands. What made these guys different though was the longer, more epic numbers like "Yellow Star". This number (at a little over 7 minutes!) showed off the bands skill. Live and in color Mainiax must have been one for the ages as every color of the heavy metal rainbow gets covered on "Boys Night Out". Many have called this one of the best private label power metal releases and I'm not going to argue with that. While they sometimes bring to mind another cult 80's band called Ray Gunn the fact that Mainiax pulls out the Deep Purple and B.O.C. love puts them in a class of their own. Since this one has never seen a CD release other than a bootleg version it is pretty easy to find floating around on the net. Totally worthwhile downloading for fans of eighties metal and those that liked their heavy metal with creepy organs,etc.


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