Magic Bullets – Magic Bullets (Mon Amie)

March 29, 2011 by  

If you are new to Magic Bullets on your first hearing you would probably assume they are British. However your ears have deceived you, this is not true, the band hail from sunny California. The album has that sun soaked indie pop disguise shining on top of it but that disguise is easily seen through. Deep down what makes this sophomore release an interesting listen is the heavy influence of the British 1980’s mainstream post punk bands.

There are plenty of chirpy guitar riffs throughout the album and this is when the band is at their best. The fun indie-pop songs like “On Top Of The World” and “Millions Of People Running In Circles” are beaming examples of the groups California background, perfect melodies for cloudless days on the beach.

Lead singer Philip Benson seems to be playing some kind of Ian Curtis/Morrissey hybrid role and sometimes this can be off putting. His voice can be very distinctive on tracks like “Lying Around” and “The Day Not So Far Off” where he gets accompanied by some zingy guitar playing, but this cannot be said when it comes down to the slower tracks on the album like “Red Room”. This is a dull song and Benson’s voice doesn’t change it, instead it just adds itself to the uninteresting sounds played by the rest of the band. This is one of a few moments on the album where Magic Bullets lose their sharpness and Benson sounds annoyingly dreary.

There is influence from bands like The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen and even Joy Division here and Magic Bullets make this too obvious. They don’t stamp down their own style on the album, which means there is more replication then originality. There are tunes on here that really shine and would fit perfectly on a “soundtrack to the summer” mixtape but the majority of the album refuses to leave the North of England. There’s just a bit too much early post punk nostalgia.

[rating:2.5]


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