Mrs. Magician’s Sun-Soaked, SoCal Vibrations

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Mrs. Magician’s latest offering, ‘Bermuda’, finds the San Diego band lost in the syrupy buzz of caffeine, barbed melodies, and electric abandon. The local ensemble furnishes their equilibrium-challenged madhouse with buzz saw instrumentation and glib, whack-a-mole vocals. This is some fun shit.

“Phantoms” is an exploratory, surf rock carnival of shark-gnawed boards and crimson rip currents. “Eyes All Over Town” capsizes any sense of safety with swirling refrains and claustrophobic lyrics. And “Forgiveness” roars and thumps with guttural lamentations, sud-soaked regret, and washed out reverb.

The unrelenting fuzz, acerbic wit, and craning guitars on ‘Bermuda’ present a kaleidoscopic vision of west coast unease. It’s an accessible, high-energy record that feels of Southern California spontaneity. If an LP could kick flip while spiking a can of Saint Archer, this would be the one.

One of the greatest things about Mrs. Magician’s newest album is that, even during the record’s most upbeat moments, there are pockets of dread buried within the elated riffs (see the live wire discord at the end of “Where’s Shelly?”). Though the San Diego collective occasionally draw shadows of Weezer and Surfer Blood, this is a band raising a conductor’s baton to their own – and very specific –  brand of melodic bloodletting.

“Reborn Boys”, with its nihilistic, crestfallen lyrics and Wolf Parade-tinged instrumentation, beats like a Dan Boeckner song as arranged by The Association. It’s a highlight on an album that is chalked full of sunscreen lathered guitar romps. Mrs. Magician’s newest record is the perfect tightrope walk of breezy content, overt dread, and expertly composed song structure. Basically, this is an album that deserves your mellowed out and up-for-anything attention.

 

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Author: Rob Patrick

A member of the San Diego Film Critics Society, Rob created Cinema Spartan after he stepped down as the editor of a weekly. He has written for The East County Californian, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, The San Diego Entertainer, and the San Diego Reader. He has also introduced films with the Pacific Arts Movement. He co-owns two dire wolves, Buckley and Ruffin. At any given time, he can tell you superfluous hockey statistics. He is the chancellor of Tapatio, an advocate of iced tea, and an owner of at least 70 pairs of Vans.

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