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The Magic Gang - The Magic Gang (Album Review)

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 Written by Liam Turner

Photo: Dan Kendall

There’s nothing edgy about the Magic Gang’s self-titled debut. It’s not offensive, it’s not abrasive, it’s not cynical and it certainly isn’t controversial. It’s lacking in a number of seemingly crucial qualities possessed by many classics. And yet that’s precisely why the record feels as fresh as the summer breeze it so often evokes.

Its geniality is no doubt in part due to the laidback languor of the indie-rockers’ adoptive home, Brighton. It’s a quality that pervades their approach to both craft (the band have steadily released a number of EPs since their inception in 2013) and the sound of the music itself (snugly sat between the Beach Boys, Weezer and Circa Waves).

It would be a mistake to think that the record is devoid of conflict, though, as much of the LP’s lyrical content deals with the struggles of relationships both old and new.

“I hear them talking on the telephone, I think he’s here to steal my love,” Jack Kaye sings on the jovially melancholy Your Love. It’s a sentiment echoed on the similarly wistful How Can I Compete.

It would also be remiss to think that, because of the Gang’s aversion to anything at all daring, that they fail to bring anything new to the table. They wear their influences on their sleeves, but it’s testament to them that they’re able to take these familiar sounds and forge them into something alive. It’s a feat that’s all the more impressive when you consider the heart of a genre that’s grown increasingly tired and turgid.

The piano-led Take Care represents a fine example of this balance, with its softly-sung vocals and ambling bassline juxtaposed with a fuzzy guitar lead and punchy percussion. It’s both vintage and forward thinking and hints at potential avenues the Magic Gang might explore going forward.

And the future certainly does look sunny. With their first full-length LP, the quartet have shown that their steady approach to making music really does work, having built something that sounds accomplished, mature and above all, refreshing. Where will the Gang go with their follow-up? Who cares. As long as they stick to their measured methodology it’s hard to imagine they’ll put a foot wrong.

The Magic Gang Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu March 22 2018 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2 Birmingham
Fri March 23 2018 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy 2
Sat March 24 2018 - LEEDS Church
Sun March 25 2018 - GLASGOW King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Tue March 27 2018 - BRISTOL Thekla
Wed March 28 2018 - LONDON Electric Ballroom

Click here to compare & buy The Magic Gang Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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