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Magic Bullets

A Child but in Life Yet a Doctor in Love

(Words on Music; US: 29 May 2007; UK: Available as import)

Magic Bullets have toured with the likes of Cold War Kids and Voxtrot, and that’s no surprise after hearing their debut album.  It comes from the same line of poppy post-punk that may not make the indie kids dance, but they’ll at least shuffle their feet.  Opener “Yesterday’s Seen Better Days” showcases Philip Benson’s honey-soaked vocals, which, along with Colin Dobrin’s drumming, represent the band’s strongest selling points.  The production is downright Spartan, putting the drums and vocals high in the mix and letting most of the guitar work and bass get lost in the shuffle.  This is effective for the most part, but does expose Magic Bullets’ melodies as a little weaker than they should be.  Tracks like “Lay Low” and “Will Scarlet” are strong pop songs, but much of the album ends up sounding the same.  This is the sound of a band getting started, and they’ve laid a decent enough foundation to build upon.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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