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- Magic Castles by Magic Castles
Is it possible to review this without mentioning Anton Newcombe? It seems not - but then it's a decent indicator of where this is coming from.
That said, the BJM link is kinda misleading. Because for all that such influences are clear, for the most part we're talking gentle, warming, psychedelia here - a lot less of that whole "dark side of the 60s" thing, basically.
Tracks like '10 100' and 'Now I'm A Little Cold' amble along in a thoroughly soothing way. There's a quicker tempo to the utterly lovely 'Big Sur' (easily the best track IMO) but nothing to disrupt its whole hippy beach-bum vibe. Nothing angry. Nothing hectic. Nothing to turn your head inside out.
But then a quick scan of the song titles and you see things like 'Death Dreams' and 'Mystical Sage Warrior'. Hmmm. So you know there's an edge there somewhere, and so it proves with things like the distorted and much heavier 'Songs Of The Forest' and the weird jangle of the closer, 'Emery Memories'.
I dunno, I'm writing this review nearly nine months after the record was released and it's one that has steadily eaten up a lot of space in the 'Top Rated' playlist on my phone. I guess Tame Impala are similarly eating up the available stock of psyche rock plaudits this year, but 'Magic Castles' craps all over the somewhat annoying 'Lonerism' if you ask me.
8/10 Nic 5th May 2012
Can see why Mr. Newcombe signed these. If you've ever wondered what might've happened had Lou Reed upped sticks and headed to San Francisco before the 70's hit him this might give you a few clues.
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