The Shaker Heights: Magna Doors

[1 January 2008]

By Alan Brown

There is one word that perfectly describes Magna Doors, the Shaker Heights’ debut album: Eclectic. Building upon a solid foundation of rough-hewn folk-rock, this quartet (now unfortunately diminished to an acoustic trio since the departure of the band’s drummer Edd Featherstone) from Aylesbury, England have added fanciful sound samples, ethereal strings and scuzzy-guitar-drone that flips, from song to song, between sounding a bit like Midlake, a bit like Jefferson Airplane and a bit like Echo and the Bunnyman among others, while frontman Vincent Coole’s wavering vocals recall Jeff Buckley, especially on the nicely rousing title-track. This “something for everyone” approach does manage to dislodge a couple of hidden nuggets like the group’s single release “Pigment in the Sky” and the brushed-drum pageantry of “Write To Me Buccheimer”, but ultimately this well-crafted album remains an uneven listening experience which, although melodious, is instantly forgettable.

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