Magic Bullets – Much Ado About (Review)

Rating:

 

Magic Bullets are calling it a day and are bidding us a fond farewell with ‘Much Ado About’: a seven track EP that comprises of arguably some of their best work yet, recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Monte Vallier. The EP comes out on May 7, 2012 on Brooklyn label Mon Amie Records.

‘What Took You So Long?’ is the lead track on the EP and it is just the type of sunny pop we’ve come to expect from Magic Bullets over the last 7 years. Lead singer Philip Benson tells of a long-term unrequited love whilst the rest of the band bash out jangly guitar phrases and a perfect rhythm for you to potter about to in the sunshine. ‘No Longer There’ is short and sweet at only 2:12. Philip delivering an echoey, almost hymn-like lamentation over some ‘less-jangly-than-usual’ guitars which all blend together to create a really mellow, chilled out sound. ‘Time And Again’ is my personal favourite; it’s all just very jolly. A hands in the air, attempting to sing along kind of a track. I love the bands formula of juxtaposition in their songs. Very happy guitar riffs with Philip lamenting trials and tribulations (usually of the heart) over the top. ‘Common House Cats’ has a very appealing old school vibe to it, from the bluesy bass walk at the opening to the fluctuations in Philips voice, everything just comes together to make this track so very cool. This is a smoother jangle pop than Magic Bullets usual stuff and it is a pleasure to listen to.

‘Much Ado About’ will suit established Magic Bullets fans down to the ground, although slightly smoother than previous releases this is still clearly a Magic Bullets record and audiences who attended the bands set at SXSW last year will recognize some of the tracks on the EP. Fans of The Drums will warm to this too, a fair few tracks and Philips slightly pained sounding ‘uhs’ on this EP echo tracks on ‘Summertime!’.

The whole record is sun soaked and inviting and has a real hint of nostalgia to it even though it’s brand new. Perhaps it’s the sound of a cassette being placed in and taken out of a stereo at the start and finish of the EP or maybe something tucked in the inherently universal themes within, but there is something that just feels very familiar about this collection of farewell tracks. I feel like I’m listening to something that I’ve found in the back of a cupboard that my parents used to play when I was little or that an old friend gave to me. I’m not quite sure how they’ve done it but they’ve managed to make brand new music sound lived in and loved.

Harriet Dawson

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