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The Golden Hands Before God Conducts Incredible Magic Band & The Spirits

Here

(Pop Echo; US: 14 Oct 2008; UK: Unavailable; Canada release date: 9 Sep 2008)

They oozed out of the dingy sweat bars of the Canadian North with a list of classic rock influences twice as long as its full name right onto the forehead of America. The Golden Hands Before God Conducts Incredible Magic Band & The Spirits have brought down with them a debut record delicately packed with a fine smattering of early Rolling Stones jams drenched in druggy drumming, raucous party riffs, and double tracked vocals dripping with reverb. However, the album itself falls short of following through on the promise of divine transcendence that the name of the band makes.


These songs were, by and large, already written, recorded, and released by the fantastically talented and horribly egotistical Anton Newcombe’s Brian Jonestown Massacre and, to a lesser extent, the Dandy Warhols. With their Ontario charm, Here is presented with less pretention than Newcombe is capable of—despite their drawn out name—and that makes them a little more accessible. Even with that working for them, the spark of soulful originality and divine creativity that gloms every aspect of the first nine BJM long-players is simply not here. It’s fine enough at face value, but it certainly will not inspire you to see spirits, incredible magic, god, or anything terribly remarkable. I thought I saw a gremlin for a second, but it turned out to be the face of the little boy I ran over on that back road seven years ago that night reflecting into my soul through a vortex, judging me with his vengeful gaze. I believe that was mere coincidence.

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Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


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