Sunday, February 17, 2008

Under The Radar & Unclassifiable


ALBUM: The Return To Form Black Magick Party
ARTIST: Pop Levi
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England


So this one hit me from out of left field. Part pop, part glam rock, part Led Zep, part freak folk, this English multi-instrumentalist has put out an extremely interesting and, dare I say it, refreshing listen.

It starts off with "Sugar Assault Me Now”, a 70’s style power pop number with pounding drums, great fuzz bass and a chugging guitar riff. Probably the catchiest song you’ll hear all year.
Blue Honey” opens with a bass that sounds like the strings are going to fall off any minute, then morphs into the best Led Zep/ Bay City Rollers amalgamation since, well, never.
“(A Style Called) Crying Chic” is a shuffling folky number that reminds me a bit of classic Donovan. Once again, like all the other tracks on this album, it’s immediately catchy.
Jittery cotton candy fun house music to the max, “Pick-Me-Up Uppercut” has the distinction of being the only really irritating song on the album, and kind of kills the flow for me.
Skip Ghetto” brings it back to earth, though. Another strolling psychedelic folk number, Mr. Levi (I assume), sounding more like Physical Graffiti era Robert Plant than Jack White ever could. Very nice number, this.
Dollar Bill Rock”. Rollicking Marc Bolan guitars, handclaps, squeeze box, like the sound of Bourbon Street hookers.
Flirting” should have been released in 1964. glockenspiel, gentle guitars, a ’whoooh whoooh whoooh’ chorus and Spector like production.
Mournin’ Light”. Rocks like a motherf*&^er. I will be playing this very loud on the way to work tomorrow.
See My Lord” is the albums’ “Revolution #9”. Weird, disjointed and nary a melody in sight. Sound experimentation bordering on musique concrete.
Then “Hades Lady” brings it back to classic mode, once again. Fuzz guitar, a stomping drum beat and sing-along lyrics. Love the title of the song too, by the way.
From The Day That You Were Born” is VERY John Lennon, circa the White Album. Probably my favorite track on the album. Piano, Harrison style guitar, soulful vocals and ending with some tasteful orchestration. Great way to close the album.

Overall, I dig this album immensely. Even though the influences are apparent, this band somehow makes it all sound original and fresh. I would recommend it.

2 comments:

Holly A Hughes said...

I don't know, Unc...just had a quick listen to the samples, and I can't say it grabbed me. But then I likes me music stripped-down and minimalist, not quite such a dense confection. (Except for Bowie and Queen, where the more the better.) Perhaps I will try it again later, but then you see, I'm still working on Teenage Fanclub. Which is slowly beginning to grow...

ThomG said...

Actually, I just finished a whole listen. I likes it. maybe not in the changer all the time, but at party times, yes.