If you’re from Michigan and have any kind of a social life at all, then you’ve most likely been to one of the heavyweight battles, or at least heard of them at one point or another. This battle of the bands has been something I’ve looked forward to on a yearly basis, for as long as I’ve been old enough to go out to shows. Local bands from all over West Michigan get the chance to come together, and compete for the rank of #1 rock/metal band. The past few years, people have had speculations of it being ‘rigged’, or becoming just another popularity contest, and not actually being based on how good the bands are. I think it’s safe to say, that hard work and talent paid off for this years’ champions, Stone the Manic.
When it comes to experience in the business, these guys combined have a substantial amount between the five of them, and believe it or not, have only been playing out as Stone the Manic for just over a year now. In one year, I’ve watched this band accomplish more than most local bands do in 10. The heavyweights proved that these guys have quite the following, and in my opinion, out of any metal band in Grand Rapids, they have the most potential of actually ‘going somewhere’. These guys have already shared the stage with numerous bands on a local and national level, and don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Stone the Manic has recently finished their first 8 song LP entitled Bujacked, and should be releasing it to the public very soon.
Stone the Manic had a huge advantage when it came to producing their LP, by being able to take the diy approach thanks to guitar player C.J. Gardineer, who solely produced the whole album. I have to admit, Bujacked instantly earned brownie points right off the bat with their intro, which quotes one of the best movies of all time, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Songs like In My Arms, which is the first single you hear on the LP, show off the amazing vocal range that lead singer Josh Dennis has, and in my opinion, proves that he is easily in the top 5, of most talented front men in Michigan. If I were to nominate one song off the album to be Stone the Manic’s first radio single, my choice would have to be for the track Knot in the Way. This song to me, shows just how tight the band is as a whole, and how they easily have the ability and talent to stand their ground with any national band that people might try and compare them to. Bujacked ends just as strongly as the album starts, with STM’s single, Liquor Store which leaves you wanting more, and also finishes with a kickass quote which I’ll leave nameless, so you can have the pleasure of finding out for yourself.
Bujacked has been released digitally and can be heard on a number of regional radio stations and online and satellite stations as well, but is still in the process of being pressed and released. The band expects to have pressed copies of the LP available for fans within the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can check out a few of the tracks from the album online at www.reverbnation.com/stonethemanic, and on facebook at www.facebook.com/stonethemanic