Magic Bullets - Magic Bullets - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Magic Bullets - Magic Bullets

by Dan Clay Rating:8 Release Date:2011-04-11

Famous for its earthquakes among other things, San Francisco's sunny breeze translates into pop thanks to Magic Bullet's self-titled new album which bares more than a passing resemblance to a certain melancholy Manchester band, the Bullets adding a pleasing sense of West-Coast pop to keep things sprightly.

Opener 'A Day Not So Far Off' sets the tone; all jangly guitars and drumbeats with lead singer Philip Benson demanding to "tell them my pain". From there, 'They Wrote a Song About You' keeps things happily maudlin, complete with near replicas of The Smiths' best hooks. 'Pretend and Descend', meanwhile, nabs a riff or two from Morrissey's finest work, displaying a pleasant homage, while lead single

shows just how breezy the Bullets can be with a sunnier outlook.

Showcasing a lighter mid-section, 'Young Shoulders' uses a neat riff to keep things pacy while 'Red Room' brings an acoustic backing to suit Benson's near howl. With an impressive amount of melodic inspiration, songs such as

bring an upbeat 70s disco feel which should be enough to satisfy the most radio-friendly of playlist pickers. "It wouldn't hurt you to smile, why not try it out for a while," Benson sings on the latter, as positive a suggestion as the influences might allow.

Even the stomp of 'A Name Sits Heaviest on My Heart' and playful ska of 'Millions of People' do their best to keep things toe-tappingly fun throughout with only 'China Beach' letting the standard slip slightly. Still, that's forgiven when the rest is as melodic as you might expect from a Californian band - a state that produced the Beach Boys for one. This light isn't going out just yet.

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