# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Magic Bullets - A Child But in Life Yet a Doctor in Love

  by Chris Jones

published: 9 / 7 / 2007

Magic Bullets - A Child But in Life Yet a Doctor in Love
Label: Words On Music
Format: CD


Astonishing C*6-influenced debut album from the Magic Bullets, who surprisingly come from San Francisco rather than Britain

I have to admit that when I first put this CD in the stereo I was expecting New Zealand guitar pop to come out. When I then heard something that sounded much more 'Sounds of Leamington Spa', I realized that I was thinking of the Magic Numbers. The Magic Bullets managed to confuse me a bit more, as when half way through the album I looked at the liner notes I saw that not only are they not a C86 era band, but they also aren't from England. Stranger still, they are from just up the freeway from me in San Francisco. So having sorted out the chronological and geographical confusion, I was left to thoroughly enjoy what I was listening to. The Magic Bullets' debut album is a great example of C86 era pop with jangly guitars, a sense of upbeat melancholia, emotive vocals, and driving bass and drums. For a 'Leamington Spa' reference, the Submarines kept coming to mind as I listened to the album, but I'm sure any number of other references could work. The songs on this album offer a variety of sounds and moods making it one of the few albums I've heard recently where I didn't skip through at least a few songs. The upbeat numbers are countered perfectly by the more somber songs and the whole album just flows so well. The lyrics tend to be introspective in nature, but singer Phil Benson never comes off sounding whiney or overly dramatic as many of the C86 era singers did. He is able to convey emotions without sounding emotional. Which isn't to say that the delivery is monotone or lifeless. In fact his voice is quite strong and dynamic, but just that he manages to avoid getting caught up in the cliches of the genre. This probably goes a long way towards making the album feel fresh and alive and not just like a rehash. Musically, the songs have a nice sense of pace easily moving from quieter, slower parts to louder, faster parts. The guitar varies from single notes that are left to hang to jangly chord blasts that push the song along. And the rhythm section does quite a nice job of keeping everything together throughout the album. The strength of the playing makes it hard for me to pick a favorite song since each offers something quite enjoyable. The more upbeat, bouncy numbers like 'Will Scarlet' and 'New Kicks' might hit me more, but even the more mellower songs like 'Circumstances' and the New Order-ish 'Heatstroke' also work very well. And then there's the noisiness of 'The Tender Throes' and the Orange Juice like 'Spilled Milk' and well, the whole damn album really. The Magic Bullets have pulled off quite a feat indeed with their debut album. The lyrics and music will remind of a number of bands from the C86 era, but they avoid the cliches that would have been so easy to rely on and thus avoid sounding like a rehash. Vocally and musically, the delivery is so good that the entire album sounds quite fresh and alive. Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year.

Track Listing:-
1 Yesterday's Seen Better Days
2 Heatstroke
3 Lay Low
4 Will Scarlet
5 Short Circuit
6 Circumstances
7 New Kicks
8 Tender Throes
9 Spilled Milk
10 Spent Nights

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