7 Jun 2014
The Electric Magpie "Begins"
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
More excellence from the Lolipop Records stable here after yesterday's Mystic Braves review.
A good fit for the Lolipop label, The Electric Magpie are apparently well known in the local San Francisco garage / psych scene, but not so much to those of us further afield. That turns out to be our loss, as "Begins" is a pretty great debut.
Like their avian namesakes, The Electric Magpie like to pick up shiny things and make them their own, with "Begins" bathed in a warm, comfortable early seventies glow that acknowledges lots of the psychedelic masters, but also makes concessions towards more straightforward classic rock fare too. Case in point is possible album stand out "Friends" which kicks into life with a splendid New York coke-cool rhodes intro which is pure Donald Fagen, before going all "I Am The Walrus" and getting moody and psychedelic. Not your usual approach, but the ease with which these guys traverse genres is commendable and results in an album that sounds like it exists outside of the confines of time.
There's a whole lot of silliness and fun to be had here too, with tracks like "Mourning Gloria", "Birds in the Trees" and "Hold On (Hannah)" sporting choruses that are infectious and memorable and grooves that will inevitably lead to more than their fair share of irresistible, get-down choogling.
Eclectic and a whole heap of fun, with a great live-sounding vibe that I bet makes them rule on stage.
CD, cassette and digital available here with vinyl to follow soon: