By Matthew Chung
There was Mania inside B-Side last Thursday night.
Local rockers Mania — featuring Ryerson journalism student Marco Ursi on drums — brought their excessive enthusiasm and ‘catch-a-riffic’ sound to the crowd at the Peter Street night club.
Lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Graeme Lang twisted, shook and stomped on the stage while his powerful, soulful voice belted out melodies so catchy that audience members could sing along by the second chorus. Phil Snell’s entire body bobbed along with the music as if he was attached to strings while Daniel Primerano hunched way over his keyboard, his fingers flying over each note.
The thumping bass from Matt Cameron’s guitar kept everyone’s feet tapping, and Ursi’s heart-racing, up-tempo beats and comical faces behind the drum set drove the songs on.
“Those are my orgasmic faces,” he says.
At one point, Snell picked up a drumstick lying in the middle of the stage, smashed it against the cymbals and strummed his guitar chords with it. The band started to play one of their songs “Do what you gotta do.”
Until recently, the members of Mania weren’t feeling so good. Previously known as The Remedy, the boys say there was a lot of tension with a former band member.
“We had a falling out with him,” Ursi says. The remaining members formed Mania and brought in Cameron. “Matt Cameron was a friend of ours. He’d come to our shows, he was eager to join, so it was an easy switch,” says Ursi.
While The Remedy’s sound was influenced by ‘70’s rockers like Led Zeppelin, Ursi says. Mania’s sound is the original sound of rock and roll.
“Catchy melodies, good hooks, fun, danceable, quick, that’s Mania,” says Ursi. “You had to really be into seventies rock to like The Remedy’s stuff, whereas what we’re doing now has a mass appeal.”
The songs certainly appealed to the crowd at B-Side, who asked for an encore, forcing the band to break out their new material. “We didn’t really know what we were doing at some parts,” Ursi admits.
Mania has released a three-song demo CD, and has a Web site at www.sonicbids.com/mania. Their next show is on March 10 at B-Side, which is located at 129 Peter Street.